The Tower of London is probably my favorite place in the entire city of London. You might be asking, “Gee, Katie, that’s a pretty big claim to say. Why, out of all the places in London, do you love the Tower?” First of all, thanks for asking your question in such a polite way. Second, I really love it because it is literally covered in history, myth and conspiracies. It is surrounded by a moat…or what used to be a moat. It is now a low-level grassy area. The first time I went, an ice skating rink was there for the holidays (definitely not it’s original intention). Yes, the first time. I have been to the sight five times, but I have only been inside twice. I’d still be willing to go again (Yeah, I know I’m that kid that loiters around historical points of interest. I’m super cool).
At the time it was built, it was literally an island surrounded by water that was impenetrable to foreign invasion and impossible to escape from if you were a prisoner of the state. I got to see where Ann Boleyn was beheaded, see the torture areas (not as many or as large as you would think), explore the white tower, see the crown jewels (by going through the exhibit like 8 times), get a tour from a Beefeater (tower guard) and see the GardenTower/”Bloody Tower.” The “Bloody Tower” was especially important to me because of the the story of the Two Princes in the Tower. The story goes…(taken directly from the Tower of London site)
“The sons of King Edward IV, 12-year-old Edward V and his younger brother Richard, were sent to the Tower by their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. By July 1483 they were declared illegitimate and the Duke was crowned King Richard III. The Princes were never seen again. Richard III has usually been considered the most likely culprit. By declaring the princes illegitimate, he cleared his way to the throne. He would safeguard his position by having them killed. In 1485, Richard III was killed in the Battle of Bosworth. The victor, Henry Tudor, was crowned King Henry VII. It was in the Tudors’ interest to paint Richard as a villain. Henry VII is also a suspect. He married the princes’ sister, Elizabeth of York, strengthening his claim to the throne. This could have been jeopardised if the boys had survived. It does seem unlikely that they survived beyond the end of Richard’s reign without being seen.Thomas More, writing over 30 years later, stated that the princes were smothered on their uncle’s orders, secretly buried ‘at the stair foot’, and then reburied elsewhere in the Tower. Two skeletons, identified as those of the princes, were discovered when a building in front of the White Tower was demolished in 1674. You can see a plaque commemorating the princes near this site. The skeletons were examined in 1933 and pronounced as belonging to two boys, aged about ten and twelve.”
To this day, there isn’t enough to conduct an accurate genetic test to prove the identity of the two skeletons. I am on the verge of obsessed with this myth. I personally think King Richard killed, or at least ordered the killing, of the two princes. I also love the history around the period of the War of the Roses so I was looking forward to this before I even came to London. Well anyways, here are some picture from my visit(s). As if this long post wasn’t enough (I told you it’s my favorite…).
Do you like my castle?
The White Tower…you know, cause it’s made out of white stones…
Where Anne Boleyn was beheaded
I make friends really easily….
The last time I was there, I bought an ornament from the Christmas section of one of the gift shops. Can you guess what it was? It is an ornament of Henry VII…wearing mismatched socks…holding a chicken leg. I think it is literally the most hilarious thing ever and was laughing so hard I think the staff had genuinely thought I lost my mind. I mean, who wants Henry VIII on their Christmas tree? Apparently me…but this beaut won’t be seasonal. Henry will be display in my room next year all year round, drumstick and all. Cheers!!!