Tower of London

Sunday, 23 July 2023

A visit to the Tower of London; odd as it may seem, in all our years on this planet, we’ve never been inside!

Our guide (born in Cardiff!) took us straight to the Crown Jewels exhibition. Wow! More gold, diamonds sapphires (etc) than it was possible to imagine. No photos 😢

Wise people we Welsh. By midday, the queue must have contained 1000+ people, who’d have had an hour or more to wait. We went in at 10:15am after a 5 minute wait. I also didn’t know that during the interregnum (Oliver Cromwell’s time), Cromwell melted down the Crown Jewels for funds (typical politician?), so all bar a few insignificant items (e.g. some pearls from Elizabeth I’s regalia) the  current Crown Jewel’s date from the mid-1600’s.

I also didn’t know than the Tower once housed the King’s menagerie. Sculptures of many of these beasts were dotted around the area.

In another museum, the Royal Fusiliers Regiment had medals, donated by its very many war heroes, on display. Quite recently we learnt that a single Victoria Cross might make £250,000 ++ at auction. The display cabinet had  around 20 VC’s (£5 million) and so many other of the highest gallantry awards  available. The monetary value maybe impressive; the bravery on display was beyond imagining.

Not only that, yesterday’s weather forecast said “rain showers’. The sun came out at around 11am and has stayed out all day - perfect.

We’re leaving Greenwich at about 5pm for  Edinburgh. A day at sea is always good to have some downtime and enjoy the onboard shows and lectures.