It’s been around six months of COVID-19 restrictions. And we’re not alone in our restlessness. The resident ravens at the Tower of London are getting so bored that they’re actually fleeing their home. The birds aren’t just idle pets, either. According to legend, if six of the tower’s resident ravens leave the fortress, the monarchy and the tower will both fall.
The birds — seven in total — are reverentially known as the guardians of the tower, and live on the South Lawn. With the tower’s closure on March 20 due to the pandemic, the absence of tourists drove the ravens into a severe funk. Even though tourism has recently returned, it hasn’t been nearly as busy as usual. As a result of the lack of activity, and full garbage cans, the ravens have been venturing away from the tower looking for more reliable sources of sustenance.
Christopher Skaife, a raven master, told The Sun, “If the ravens were to leave, the tower would crumble to dust. The tower is only the tower when the people are here. The ravens have always been so important…because they’ve been surrounded by myths and legends. We really need people to come back to help the ravens. It’s been tough because the ravens only saw me or one warden walking by during the lockdown. They depend on tourists. Never in a raven’s history have we seen fewer people in the Tower of London. Even in World War II, there were still hundreds in and around.”
As long as tourism numbers are down the ravens will likely keep wandering from home. And for the sake of the monarchy, let’s just hope they return.