Earlier this year, four ravens were born at the Tower of London, and two of them were selected to become guardians of the British kingdom — one male named Edgar after Edgar Allan Poe, and one female.
From May 4 to May 18, 2021, people worldwide had the pleasure of choosing the name of the female chick that would be joining the Tower’s ravens. On May 19, BBC Breakfast revealed that the public had voted to name it Branwen, a figure of Celtic mythology whose name translates as “Blessed Raven”.
The Tower of London is over 900 years old and is located on the river Thames in London. According to Historic UK, Legend that King Charles II, who ruled between 1660 and 1685, was “told that if the ravens left the Tower, the White Tower would fall and a great disaster befall the Kingdom.” He, therefore, issued a royal decree that at least six ravens should be kept at the Tower at all times.
There are currently seven ravens at the Tower of London: Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Erin, Poppy, and Merlina. With Edgar and Branwen joining the others, there are now nine ravens in the Tower.
The Tower ravens are taken care of very well and typically have a longer lifespan than ravens in the wild. They are free to roam around during the day but sleep in secure quarters at night. They are well-fed with “mice, chicks, rats and assorted raw meats.”
The Tower of London has been closed for five months, and Branwen’s new name comes just in time for its reopening.