Insight & Analysis

You must be raven mad!

Published: May 2019

Brexit politics may make Britain appear to be on the edge of sanity but the legend of the Tower of London says the UK is not doomed yet.

The famous landmark Tower on the banks of the Thames has witnessed the birth of a new generation of ravens. This should safeguard the nation against collapse for a while yet.

According to legend, if the resident ravens ever leave the Tower, both the castle and the kingdom will fall. Since the 17th-century reign of King Charles II, the impressive birds have been kept there for this reason.

To the relief of all, the Tower PR office recently announced: “We are very, very pleased to say… that we have now got four magnificent chicks.”

Hatched on St George’s Day, this is the first time raven chicks have been born at the Tower of London since 1989.

The parents, named Huginn and Muninn, produced chicks each measuring around 8cm. These quadrupled in size in just three weeks, to stand at 30cm tall. A mature common raven ranges between 54 and 67 cm long, with a wingspan of 115 to 150 cm.

Seven other ravens also reside at the Tower.

Yeoman Warder, Chris Skaife, has been Raven master at the Tower of London for the last 13 years. Having got to know the birds well he is quoted as saying: “I feel like a proud father!”

The chicks are fed a varied fare including mice and rats. Speculation that this is the kind of diet some citizens can expect if a post-Brexit no-deal scenario emerges is unsubstantiated.

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