Bucket List - Crown Jewels

I loves me the jewelry. The more bling, the better. So, I was very excited to visit The Tower of London and see the Crown Jewels.

There are actually 21 total towers at the Tower of London.
First up on our visit was a lecture by one of the Beefeaters also known as Yeoman Warders. Those are the colorful guards who must have served at least 22 years in the military, reached the rank of Warrant Officer and been awarded a good conduct medal.

Yeah, these guys.
Our Beefeater is not one of the guys pictured above. He basically threatened anyone who took and published his picture. I chose not to mess with him about it. He seemed to be a pretty cranky Welshman. He did give a thorough and entertaining tour and answered many questions from the crowd. It was certainly worth the time.

It was amazing to think that we were standing in a structure built by William the Conqueror and housed too many famous prisoners to list here.

They certainly built things to last.
The last time this roof was rebuilt was about 500 years ago.
History lesson complete, it was off to see the pretty stuff! The line seemed long and we were getting antsy since we were on the tour's schedule. But, it moved pretty quickly. You first go through some historical scenes/information then go by some ancillary items before getting to the crowns.

Here's the rub of it all. No pictures are allowed. They were pretty serious about it, too. I scavenged among the interwebs to find some.

Blurry because it was taken on the down low.
The scepters were HUGE. You'd need some pretty good upper body strength to carry them for any length of time. Unless they were hollow gold then hmmm...

Just a few of the many crowns.
There wasn't an ability to lollygag or plop yourself in front of any of the crowns because those tour people were genius. While you could study the earlier material to your heart's content, the jewel themselves went by at a rapid pace because you were on a moving sidewalk.

Don't blink or you may miss something.
Just as with the scepters, I can't imagine having to support the weight of the crowns for very long. They were all pretty heavy on the gold and jewels. The heaviest that can be worn is about 5 pounds. Think about having a bag of sugar on your head for an extended period of time.

Imperial Crown of India made for George V.
Trust me, the emerald in the middle is ginormous.
I would definitely suggest visiting the Tower on your own schedule so you have plenty of time to roam around. I missed out on seeing the torture stuff, the chapel and hunting down Anne Boleyn's ghost. I bet she had a lot she could have told me.


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