One of the Tower of London ravens has sadly died, it is believed, with many calling the news a “bad omen”.
Queen raven Merlina has been missing for several weeks and officials have now said that she is presumably dead.
Legend says that six ravens must be kept at the tower at all times, otherwise the kingdom of Britain will fall.
And with the nation in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Brits are starting to panic.
So what has happened to the ravens at the Tower of London?
Merlina joined the tower’s flock back in 2007 and quickly established herself as the “ruler of the roost”.
She has been missing for several weeks now and is sadly feared dead.
A statement posted on Twitter read: “We have some really unhappy news to share. Our much-loved raven Merlina has not been seen at the Tower for several weeks. Her continued absence indicates to us that she may have sadly passed away.”
Though it isn’t unusual for our ravens to roam outside the walls, free-spirited Merlina has previously always returned to the Tower.
It went on to explain that ravens do sometimes venture outside of the tower walls, but they always come back due to a close bond with their keeper.
“Though it isn’t unusual for our ravens to roam outside the walls, free-spirited Merlina has previously always returned to the Tower and to the Ravenmaster and his team, with whom she shared a wonderfully close bond,” they added sadly.
“Since joining us in 2007, Merlina was our undisputed ruler of the roost, Queen of the Tower Ravens. She will be greatly missed by her fellow ravens, the Ravenmaster, and all of us in the Tower community.”
What is the legend surrounding the Tower of London ravens?
The Tower of London has a special page dedicated to the birds and explains the legend.
“It is said that the kingdom and the Tower of London will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress.
“Charles II is thought to have been the first to insist that the ravens of the Tower be protected after he was warned that the crown and the Tower itself would fall if they left.”
With Merlina now feared dead, there are six ravens left – Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Erin and Poppy.
In time it is hoped that a new chick will hatch from the tower’s breeding programme.
So perhaps the kingdom is safe for now.
Although Brits aren’t so sure.
We have some really unhappy news to share. Our much-loved raven Merlina has not been seen at the Tower for several weeks, and her continued absence indicates to us that she may have sadly passed away. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/ccwCIBfdlT
— The Tower of London (@TowerOfLondon) January 13, 2021
What have people said about the raven’s death?
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many have called the news a “bad omen”.
“A potentially gloomy omen for Britain,” one Twitter user declared sadly.
“One of the ravens at the Tower of London died and it as a bad omen for this year,” another agreed.
“I don’t know much about omens, but this isn’t a good one,” a third agreed.
“If it is an omen, it’s a bit late,” said one Brit on Twitter.
“We’re doomed,” said another.
“That’s all we need,” said another upon hearing the news.
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