Tower of London celebrates arrival of two raven chicks taking total to nine

The kingdom is safe! Tower of London celebrates arrival of two raven chicks taking total to nine and quelling fears 'the Crown will fall' if number drops below six as foretold in 350-year-old myth The Tower's breeding pair of ravens Huginn and Muninn have produced chicks  Takes the number of resident ravens to nine - more than required minimum of six Ravenmaster named one Edgar, in honour of the poet and author Edgar Allan Poe Names in the shortlist include Matilda, Branwen, Brontë, Winifred and Florence 

By Amie Gordon For Mailonline

Published: 13:09 BST, 4 May 2021 | Updated: 13:09 BST, 4 May 2021

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There are celebrations at the Tower of London today after the arrival of two new raven chicks. 

According to British folklore, the presence of these birds is vital to the survival of the realm and should six of the ravens abandon their post, the kingdom, Crown and the Tower will fall.

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The Ravenmaster today revealed that the tower's breeding pair of ravens Huginn and Muninn have produced four chicks, two of which will remain in the tower.  

The Tower of London and the history of its ravens 

Charles II is thought to have been the first to insist that the Tower ravens be protected

Charles II is thought to have been the first to insist that the Tower ravens be protected

The Tower of London was built on the demand of William the Conqueror after he defeated Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson in the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and then marched on to London.

The castle, which took almost 20 years to build, was designed to proclaim his power over London and stave off any potential rebellion.

It was expanded and later became a prison.

Henry VI was murdered at the Tower in 1471 and, later, the children of his great rival Edward IV – the Princes in the Tower - vanished within its walls in 1483.

The tower was guarded by the the famous Yeoman Warders, known as 'Beefeaters'.

Henry VII's personal guards were the first 'Beefeaters', so named as they were permitted to eat as much beef as they wanted from the King's table.

It was also the site of the beheading of Henry VIII's wife Anne Boleyn.

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Today, alongside being a tourist attraction, it is home to the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

It is not clear how long captive ravens have been held in the Tower for, though the intelligent birds, which are common in Britain, often nested in towns throughout history. 

Charles II is thought to have been the first to insist that the ravens of the Tower be protected after he was warned that the crown and the Tower itself would fall if they left. 

A common superstition now holds that 'if the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it.' 

It is said that the kingdom and the Tower of London will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. 

There are nine ravens at the Tower today — the required six, plus three spare. 

During World War II, just three — Mabel, Grip and Pauline — survived the bombing. But Pauline was killed soon afterwards and the other two died mysteriously, causing Winston Churchill to hurriedly order the flock back to full size.

In 2011, one raven - Munin - reached as far as Greenwich before being returned a week later. 

In 2013, two Tower ravens were killed by a red fox that managed to infiltrate the grounds.

Source: Historic Royal Palaces 

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The arrivals will take the total number of

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