31 January 2018
Updated 2 July. Following government guidance, the Tower of London will be re-opening from 10 July. Please read our visit information
Terry Briggs becomes the 408th Yeoman Warder (more commonly known as ‘Beefeater’) to guard the Tower of London, since records began in the 19th century. Yeoman Warder Briggs takes on this iconic role after more than 32 years of distinguished service in the Royal Navy.
Father of two, YW Briggs joins 36 other Yeoman Warders who are descended from the ancient band of warders who guarded the gates and royal prisoners, early in the Tower’s history. Modern Yeoman Warders are still Extraordinary Members of the Queen’s Bodyguard and are all former warrant officers from Her Majesty’s Forces with an honourable service record of at least 22 years. Today they combine their traditional ceremonial role with a love of history to make the past come to life for visitors.
One of YW Briggs’ first challenges will be to learn word-for-word the ‘Story’ – the script of the famous Yeoman Warder Tour of the Tower. Once he has perfected the Story, he will be allowed to lead a tour himself, delighting visitors from across the world with almost a thousand years of Tower history. He will also become familiar with each of the 21 separate duties that the Yeoman Warders conduct each and every day, including the Ceremony of the Keys, a closing ceremony that has taken place every night at the Tower of London without fail for at least 700 years.
Born and raised in Hayes, London, YW Briggs was a Warrant Officer based at Northwood NATO HQ. He has also served with the Royal Navy in the Gulf specialising in mine warfare. Outside work, YW Briggs is a keen motorbike enthusiast.
Yeoman Warder Briggs said:
“To be the 408th Yeoman Warder since records began fills me with an enormous amount of pride. Living at the Tower of London is unreal, the size and scale of the place is just awe-inspiring, you really feel as if you are living and breathing history. It was my birthday recently and what better present than waking up in a royal palace!”
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle. 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. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk