If your children love knights and battles, bring them face to face with history at the Tower of London for as little as £28.40. See the medieval prisons, torture rooms, and, of course, the legendary Crown Jewels – up close and personal with Kidadl! Learn how to brandish a sword and fire a cannon at the Armoury before walking down the Line of Kings to see ancient suits of armour, some of which belonged to William the Conqueror and Henry VIII. And after you’ve climbed the battlements, gazed up at the massive White Tower, watched a live battle re-enactment and tiptoed through a King's medieval bedchamber, the only thing left is to do is marvel at the priceless Crown Jewels! But before you do, have a read of these unique facts about the Crown Jewels and impress your friends and family with your royally good knowledge!
1. The Crown Jewels were once stolen!
We know, it sounds like that sort of thing only happens in the movies but the Crown Jewels really were stolen from the Jewel House in 1672! Luckily the thieves were disturbed during the crime and were wrestled to the ground on the Tower wharf. Unfortunately, they still managed to get away with the crown, orb and sceptre, but after being repaired they were returned safely to the Tower where they still remain today.
2. They were frequently featured on stage
King James I’s wife, Anne of Denmark, enjoyed acting in the plays performed at the court and frequently used to borrow items of the Crown Jewels to use as props - those are some pretty high-budget props!
3. They were hidden where?
Everyone knows that the Crown Jewels are immensely important but what lengths would you go to in order to keep them safe? Well during WWII, special care was taken to hide them from the Nazis. But where you ask? In a biscuit tin! Yes, you read that right, some of the most prestigious Jewels in the entire world were stowed away in biscuit tins. Other hiding places included a secret room 60 feet below Windsor Castle, which could only be accessed by descending a very long ladder.
4. Some super royal recycling
At the end of the English Civil War the Council of State ordered the Crown Jewels be destroyed and almost all the pieces used for the coronation of King Charles I were taken to the Tower of London and melted down. But not only were they destroyed, they were, of course, recycled and made into coinage that actually helped pay the army that had defeated the King - funny how life goes in circles, eh?
5. The display of the Crown Jewels is relatively new!
Not only is the display of the Crown Jewels relatively new, given that Oliver Cromwell sold off many of the originals and melted down a lot of the gold, it is also yours to get up close and personal with! With your ticket to the Tower of London, you’ll gain exclusive access to the priceless Crown Jewels - all glistening and golden. What are you waiting for?
Ellie is a keen Londoner, thespian and foodie! She's the oldest of three and loves taking her younger siblings, aged nine and fourteen, on adventures to the theatre and food markets, trying new foods and dabbling in the world of musical theatre. Some of her favourite spots include Primrose Hill and the Natural History Museum, not to mention the ever-changing Spitalfields Market.