Constable’s Dues ceremony at the Tower of London to mark Royal Marines’ 350th anniversary
The unique and traditional event dating back to the 14th century related to the Crown’s authority over the City of London; successive kings believed it was their right to extract tolls from vessels on the Thames. Past offerings have included barrels of rum, or oysters, mussels and cockles; this year, the Tower’s Governor, Richard Harrold, will be presented with a barrel of port from 1 Assault Group Royal Marines (1AGRM). They will be accompanied by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth. This ceremony is part of a year-long celebration to mark the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Marines.
The ancient ritual will begin when Commanding Officer Colonel Garth Manger leads his crew from Tower Millennium Pier to the Tower’s West Gate, where they will be challenged for entry by the Yeoman Gaoler, armed with his infamous axe. The Commanding officer and his shore party will then march through the Tower of London to Tower Green, accompanied by Yeoman Warders (commonly known as ‘Beefeaters’) in red and gold State Dress and a Corps of Drums, to deliver the barrel of port (representing the ‘Dues’) to the Tower’s Governor.
1AGRM is the lead for Amphibious Warfare and Royal Navy Board & Search Training. The group is tasked with training and developing core amphibious and surface assault skills and equipment, including the provision of Operational Support for the Ministry of Defence. The group is based at RM Tamar in HM Naval Base Devonport in Plymouth.
Visitors to the Tower of London will be able to delight in the colour, noise and spectacle of this unique and long-standing ceremony.
Notes to Editors
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Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk