By Oisin Sweeney • 14 January 2021 • 8:32
Merlina the raven has lived at the London landmark since 2007 - Image Source: Tower of London
THE TOWER of London’s “Queen” Raven is missing and feared dead, after nearly 14 years of living in the historical British landmark.
Named Merlina, the “Queen” raven is one of six birds that traditionally live in the Tower of London. According to an old superstition, if the Tower is one day without its birds the country shall fall.
Staff at the London tourist attraction say that Merlina, who “ruled the roost” of the Tower’s ravens, has not been seen in several weeks and is feared to be dead. When the pandemic caused the site to close to visitors, workers expressed their worry that the ravens were flying across the city to scavenge for food. Merlina was beloved by staff and visitors at the Tower and was known for her fondness for eating crisps scattered by tourists.
Charles II was the first ruler to decree that ravens must be kept in the Tower of London at all times, and when their number fell to just one bird in the 1940s PM Winston Churchill ordered that the flock – known in plural form as an “unkindness” of ravens – be kept to a minimum of six. A breeding programme in rural Suffolk is currently working to boost the number of birds at the landmark.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
That must mean the Queen is getting ready to kick the bucket!!
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