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New Constable of the Tower of London and Friday Round Up

Posted By on October 9, 2009

Again, I can’t believe how quickly Friday has come round! I had planned to write another post this week but it will just have to wait until Monday!

This week has been a big week for the Tower of London with a huge military ceremony taking place for the installation of a new Constable of the Tower. On Wednesday 7th October, General Sir Richard Dannatt was made the 159th Constable of the Tower of London and was handed the gold master-keys of the Tower by the Lord Chamberlain, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, after a spectacular ceremony within the Tower walls. These special master keys symbolise the Constable’s responsibility for the Tower, which is still a royal palace.

Click here to watch a video of the special ceremony at the Tower of London.

In the following video from Historic Royal Palaces Sally Dixon-Smith, curator of the Tower of London, explains the history of the role of Constable of the Tower and gives information on past Constables like Thomas a Beckett and the Duke of Wellington. If you remember, the Constable of the Tower of London when Anne Boleyn was imprisoned was Sir William Kingston.

What many people don’t realise is that the Tower is more than just a tourist attraction, it is still a military fortress and royal palace, as well as the Constable’s residence, and those Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) who show you around aren’t just any old Tom, Dick or Harry dressed up in a special uniform they are men who have at least 22 years of military service, have reached the rank of warrant officer, have been awarded the long service and good conduct medal and are between the ages of 40 and 55 at appointment. The Yeoman Warders also live at the Tower and that is why not all of the Tower is open to the public.

If you are interested in knowing more about the new Constable of the Tower of London, General Sir Richard Dannatt, you can click here to watch a video of an interview with him.

Friday Round Up

So, what’s been happening this week on the Anne Boleyn Files and in the Tudor world:-

  • Book review -Alison Weir’s “The Lady in the Tower” is our Book of the Month for October and you can click here to read my review on it. I know that many of you are frustrated that it is not out in the US until January but you can order it from Amazon UK who ship worldwide, you really don’t need to be patient, although I hear that patience is a virtue! Click here to buy now from Amazon.
  • British History Timelines – Yeah, I’ve finished the British History Timelines! They now run from Ancient Britain to the present reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Please forgive the brief bios of the monarchs but I hope that they give you a flavour of their reigns and also allow you to see Henry VIII’s reign in context with the whole of the history of the UK.
  • US Version

    US Version

  • Hilary Mantel wins Booker Prize for Wolf Hall – Author Hilary Mantel has knocked Dan Brown off the Amazon bestseller top spot and beaten authors like A S Byatt to win the Booker Prize for her historical novel Wolf Hall. Wolf Hall is a fictional account of the life of Thomas Cromwell, the man famous for plotting the fall of Anne Boleyn and dissolving England’s monasteries. I haven’t read it but I’m going to do so right this minute! Well done Hilary! Click on the book cover to buy in the US or click here to buy in the UK/Europe.
    You can click here listen to Hilary Mantel talk about Wolf Hall in a British Library podcast and watch the video below to see Hilary Mantel and David Starkey discussing Henry VIII at the Tower of London.

  • Book Club – Anne Boleyn Files visitor Gina is eager to set up an Anne Boleyn Files Book Club so I’ve set up a special part of the forum for the Book Club. Please go to the forum to register your interest in the Book Club and also to give your suggestions for November’s book. We will the do a poll to choose the book and we can all start reading.
  • Elizabeth Files – Thanks so much for all of your support with The Elizabeth Files. It is a very new site but is already gaining a loyal following. Visit The Elizabeth Files to download your free report on “The Myths Surrounding Queen Elizabeth I” and to enjoy the lates blog post “Elizabeth I’s Nativity Chart”.
  • Only 9 rooms left on The Anne Boleyn Experience 2010 tour – I’ve been getting very excited this week as I have been discussing details with Hever Castle and with author Josephine Wilkinson – I wish it was May!!
  • Test your history knowledge with the BBC History magazine Friday Quiz.
  • Well, that’s all for this week! Tune in next week for my thoughts on “Anne Boleyn: The Other Woman”!

    12 thoughts on “New Constable of the Tower of London and Friday Round Up”

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks for posting this Claire. I always enjoy hearing about what’s going on at the Tower. I remember a few years ago I was excited to hear that they had their first female beefeater. I always joke and say that it is my “dream job” to be a beefeater at the Tower of London:) I wish I could come to the Anne Boleyn experience in May, but I am expecting a baby in April, so I couldn’t leave a newborn at home just then. I hope to be able to go someday though!

    2. Claire says:

      Congratulations, Carrie! I expect you’ll be rather busy in May!

    3. Carrie says:

      Yes, I sure will:)

    4. Lexy says:

      I’ve just seen on Amazon a book called “Ann Boleyn”, by Clarisse Nicoïdski , it’a theatre. Did somebody read it? Is it good? And is “The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn”? Thanks!

    5. Claire says:

      I don’t know that book, Lexy, I’ll have to look that one up. I read The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn quite a long time ago but enjoyed it, however my favourite fiction book about Anne is Jean Plaidy’s “Murder Most Royal” – wonderful!

    6. Lexy says:

      Thanks a lot for the advice, Claire! And thank you for the whole site, the mot interesting I know about our beloved Anne!

    7. Absolutely love your blog!! Keep the news coming!

    8. Claire says:

      Thanks so much, Lexy, I’m always happy to help x

    9. Claire says:

      Thank you, Maria, don’t worry, I will! I’m so glad that you like the blog.

    10. Kristian says:

      Hi Claire –

      Wondering if you’ve begun reading Wolf Hall yet?
      I’m half-way through and LOVE it! Mantel is a brilliant writer – and, of all things, funny!
      Looking forward to hearing what you think of the novel.

      -Kris

    11. Claire says:

      Hi Kris,
      It is on my list of must-reads but I’ve got a few to read before I get to that one!

    12. LYN AULD says:

      my dear sweet anne, somehow i feel connected greatly to you, my birthday is the day you died,, may 19th ,may god give you peace and he will judge those who were the cause of your wrongfull death, how you must of suffered knowing of your innocence and trapped by a cruel world, your reward shall be great in the eyess of the lord.

      lynda

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