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    The Tower of London’s New Ravenmaster Takes Charge of the Landmark’s Iconic Flock

    The Tower of London’s New Ravenmaster Takes Charge of the Landmark’s Iconic Flock

    (AP) — If an ancient prophecy is right, Michael “Barney” Chandler has just got the most important job in .

    The 56-year-old former Royal Marine is the ravenmaster at the Tower of London, responsible for looking after the feathered protectors of the 1,000-year-old fortress.

    According to legend, if the ravens leave the 11th-century tower beside the River Thames, its White Tower will crumble and the Kingdom of England will fall. In the 17th century, King Charles II was told of the prophecy and decreed that there must always be six ravens at the tower.

    “We take that responsibility very seriously,” said Chandler. “And now that I'm ravenmaster, there's that extra responsibility on my shoulders.”

    As for the prophecy, he said “we don't know if it's true or not, because we've never let the number drop below six — and it's not going to happen while I'm here.”

    Chandler, who officially takes up the post on Friday, is one of the tower's famous Yeoman Warders, part of a corps founded in the 15th century. Also known as Beefeaters, the warders are all veterans who dress in distinctive black and scarlet Tudor-style uniforms and perform a hybrid role: providing security, leading tours of the tower, and performing ceremonial duties.

    He heads a team of four other Beefeaters looking after the tower's…

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