Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tower of London Bridges

The Tower Of London is on of the nation's leading historic visitor attractions. This ancient fortress was founded by William the Conqueror and almost 1,000 years of British history have been played out within its walls. It was here that Anne Boleyn was excecuted. Guy Fawkes interrogated. Richard II and Elizabeth I incarcerated and the 'Princes in the Tower' disappeared without trace.

The Princes were kept in the Bloody Tower (formerly called the Garden Tower) under the pretense of preparing the older boy for his coronation. One was believed to have been smothered, the other stabbed to death in their sleep. They were buried in the basement but later reburied by Sir Robert Brackenbury close to the White Tower, but all knowledge of the graves was lost. In 1674 skeletons of two boys were unearthed near the White Tower, and in the belief that the grave of the princes had been found the king ordered the bodies to be moved to Westminster Abbey.

The guards in England are amazing. They stand so still and without expression no matter what is going on around them. I don't know how they do it.

We had just emerged from the cafeteria when some soldiers came marching through. I jumped in front of these two to take their picture (they are handsome devils no?) and the one of the left cracked a small smile.

A reinactment of Anne Boelyn's trial and execution

In May 1997,the motorcade of United States President Bill Clinton was divided by the opening of the bridge. Thames sailing barge Gladys, on her way to a gathering at St Katharine Docks, arrived on schedule and the bridge was duly opened for her. Returning from a Thames-side lunch at Le Pont de la Tour restaurant, with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Clinton was less punctual, and arrived just as the bridge was rising. The bridge opening split the motorcade in two, much to the consternation of security staff. A spokesman for Tower Bridge is quoted as saying, "We tried to contact the American Embassy, but they wouldn't answer the phone".