SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please considering donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

British RoyalsPrince Charles and Camilla

Charles and Camilla are sent to the Tower


@ClarenceHouse/Twitter

The Prince of Wales’ standard flew high from the Tower of London’s White Tower Thursday as Charles and Camilla marked a moment in royal history, honouring the 535th anniversary since the Yeoman Warders were created.

Also known as Beefeaters, the Yeoman Warders were introduced during the reign of Henry VII and have served as guards for the Tower of London’s prisoners as well as the Crown Jewels.

Today, the Yeoman Warders still guard the Tower but also help guide tourists through the property. All of the Beefeaters are former warrant officers from Her Majesty’s Forces with an honourable service of at least 22 years and live onsite at the Tower with their families.

Upon arriving, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall met Constable of the Tower General the Lord Houghton, Lady Houghton, and representatives from Visit Britain.

Embed from Getty Images

Showcasing 1,000 years of British history, the Tower of London welcomes 2.8 million visitors from around the world annually. The royal couple were given a tour of the Tower, including the cell where Henry VIII’s advisor Sir Thomas More was held prisoner before his execution.

The 13th of February marks the anniversary of another execution, when Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard, was beheaded at the Tower.

Making an “off with their heads” joke, the Duchess of Cornwall used a replica of Henry VIII’s hunting dagger to cut a cake to mark the Yeoman Warders’ 535th anniversary (and was told she’d make a great executioner). The beautifully decorated cake was made in the shape of the lantern used for the Ceremony of the Keys held at the Tower every night.

Embed from Getty Images

Heading to the Council Chamber, where Guy Fawkes gave his written confession, Prince Charles was reunited with the coronet and rod used for his investiture as the Prince of Wales in 1969. The regalia will be on public display in the Tower of London’s Jewel House later this month.

Before leaving, the royal couple signed the Tower of London’s guest book, and the Duchess of Cornwall was presented with a posy by two-and-a-half-year-old Erin, daughter of Chief Warden Nivek Amichund. They also did a short walkabout, stopping to speak with some children waiting outside.

Embed from Getty Images

Following their visit, Charles and Camilla attended a reception to celebrate 50 years of the British Tourist Authority. The Prince of Wales has been a long-standing patron of English Tourism Week, and along with the Duchess of Cornwall, he met with representatives from many of London’s tourist attractions.

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.