The Tower of London is celebrating the end of its longest closure since WWII by asking the public to name its latest arrival: a raven chick.
Born in March, the young corvid will be called Florence, Matilda, Branwen, Bronte or Winifred, decided by public vote between May 4-18.
The legend of the crows says that if the birds leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall, and King Charles II is believed to be the first monarch to demand the protection of the birds.
A baby crow in the Tower of London – The crow looks to its left, with a pale black beak and a blue eye. At the bottom are the bars of the cage
Those inclined to believe in such superstitions will be relieved to learn that four raven chicks were born in March to the Tower’s resident breeding pair, Huginn and Muninn.
The nameless girl and her brother Edgar, named after the writer Edgar Allan Poe, famous for his poem The Raven, will stay in London, bringing the number of ravens resident in the Tower to nine.
His two brothers will move out of the capital.
“We are delighted to have two new girls joining the raven community here at the Tower,” said Yeoman Warder Chris Skaife, Ravenmaster of the Tower of London.
“There is a lot of pressure when it comes to choosing names for these famous feathered residents, so I hope that people from all over the world will help us name our latest addition and come see them in person as they settle into their new home.”
Audiences will choose from among several historically significant women to name the raven, with pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale and the legendary literary sisters Bronte among them.
Visitor revenue at the Tower has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but the attraction is set to reopen on May 19 with a series of visitor security measures.
The winning name will be announced as part of the reopening.
To comment on the name of one of the Tower’s latest arrivals, visit www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/whats-on/the-ravens.