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God save the birds: the centuries-old tradition upholding the United Kingdom

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Yeomen Warders guard the crown jewels, whilst the crows guard the entire country
Yeomen Warders guard the crown jewels, whilst the crows guard the entire country   -   Copyright  AP Photo
By Jordan Joice

According to a royal decree, said to have been issued by Charles II in 1630, there must always be six crows (or ravens to be precise) at The Tower of London at all times. If the birds were ever to leave the fortress nestled on the banks of the River Thames, the United Kingdom would "collapse" and the country would be plunged into chaos. Or so the legend says.

Chris Skaife, who has looked after the birds for 14 years, is the Ravenmaster and one of his key responsibilities is to make sure no one ever finds out if this superstition is true. For safety, he keeps two birds spare “just in case”.

Chris often posts photos and videos of the birds on his Instagram (@ravenlogy1) and Twitter (@ravenmaster1) accounts, which have over 120,000 followers.

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Merlina strikes one last pose before bedtime ?

A post shared by Chris Skaife (@ravenology1) on

The eight ravens he keeps at the home of the British Crown Jewels are: Merlina, Poppy, Erin, Jubilee, Rocky, Harris, Gripp, and Georgie.

Let's hope we never find out if the legend is true.