Bad omen? Tower of London raven missing, feared dead – The Guardian

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Legend states at least six ravens must be kept at the castle or the kingdom will fall

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Among the ravens at the Tower of London is feared to have died, in a potentially bleak prophecy for Britain. It implies that the tower is close to having fewer than six ravens, a level that would spell doom for the kingdom, according to legend.Ravenmaster Christopher Skaife confirmed that a person of the birds, Merlina, referred to as the queen of the towers unkindness of ravens, is presumed dead after being missing for weeks.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4s Today programme, Skaife said: “Merlina is a free-spirited raven and has been understood to leave the tower precincts on many occasion. According to legend if 2 more were to die the tower and the kingdom would fall.But Skaife stated that if Merlina did not return, the tower did have a reserve raven to make sure that at least 6 remained.He said: “We do have seven ravens here at the Tower of London, 6 by royal decree.” In a declaration on Twitter, the Tower of London said it hoped Merlina would be changed by a chick from its raven breeding program.
We now have 7 ravens here at the Tower– one more than the needed 6, so we do not have any instant strategies to fill Merlinas vacancy. In time we hope that a new chick from our breeding program will be up to the formidable challenge of continuing her tradition. (3/4)– The Tower of London (@TowerOfLondon) January 13, 2021
Numerous legends associate keeping ravens at the tower with Charles II and his Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed. According to one, Charles refused to eliminate ravens from the tower after Flamsteed grumbled they were obscuring his view of the stars.
According to another, Flamsteed was concerned that ravens were being maltreated at the tower after being related to the Great Fire of London. After being advised that eliminating all the ravens would be a bad prophecy, Charles II then purchased 6 birds to be kept at the tower.This post was amended on 14 January 2021. In places, the initial piece incorrectly spelled the missing corvids name as “Molina”, instead of Merlina.

Thu 14 Jan 2021 11.04 GMT

Speaking on BBC Radio 4s Today programme, Skaife stated: “Merlina has and is a free-spirited raven been understood to leave the tower precincts on many event. According to legend if two more were to pass away the kingdom and the tower would fall.But Skaife said that if Merlina did not return, the tower did have a reserve raven to guarantee that at least six remained.He stated: “We do have 7 ravens here at the Tower of London, 6 by royal decree.” In a declaration on Twitter, the Tower of London stated it hoped Merlina would be changed by a chick from its raven reproducing programme.
We now have 7 ravens here at the Tower– one more than the required 6, so we do not have any instant strategies to fill Merlinas vacancy. According to another, Flamsteed was worried that ravens were being maltreated at the tower after being associated with the Great Fire of London.

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