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British Royals

The Tower of London fears it has lost one of its ravens

Tower of London
N.H. Fischer / CC BY-SA via Wiki Commons

One of the best known inhabitants of the Tower of London, a raven called Merlina, has disappeared and is feared to have died. The bird, who has been part of the Tower’s roost since 2007, hasn’t been seen for weeks and her keepers now believe she is dead.

Taking to social media, the team at the Tower of London said ”We have some really unhappy news to share. Our much-loved raven Merlina has not been seen at the Tower for several weeks, and her continued absence indicates to us that she may have sadly passed away. Though it isn’t unusual for our ravens to roam outside the walls, free-spirited Merlina has previously always returned to the Tower and to the Ravenmaster and his team, with whom she shared a wonderfully close bond.”

Legend has it that when the ravens leave the Tower of London, the Kingdom of Great Britain falls. However, the Tower was quick to point out that seven ravens now remain at the ancient fortress, one more than the six required to ensure the safety of the realm.

Instead, those who lived alongside Merlina mourned her passing, saying she was ”our undisputed ruler of the roost, Queen of the Tower Ravens. She will be greatly missed by her fellow ravens, the Ravenmaster, and all of us in the Tower community.”

The Tower of London has a raven breeding programme and it’s hoped that in time one of the chicks from that will grow up to replace Merlina.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.