According to legend, 'the kingdom will fall' if the Queen's Ravens leave the Tower of London. One of the birds is now missing, but don't panic - yet.

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According to legend, 'the kingdom will fall' if the Queen's Ravens leave the Tower of London. One of the birds is now missing, but don't panic - yet.
Ravenmaster Christopher Skaife feeds the ravens at the Tower of London on October 12, 2020.Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
  • One of the Queen's ravens is feared dead. Merlina went missing from the Tower of London, the medieval castle in the center of the city, several weeks ago, Sky News reported.
  • If Merlina has died, then there will only be seven ravens left at the Tower and legend says that if there are any less than six, then both the kingdom will suffer, the Independent added.
  • In a Twitter statement on Thursday, The Tower of London said: "In time, we hope that a new chick from our breeding program will be up to the formidable challenge of continuing her legacy.
  • There are still seven ravens at the Tower of London so the witch's prophecy is still on hold.

One of the Queen's Ravens at the Tower of London is missing and feared dead, causing concern that the 'kingdom will fall,' according to legend.

Merlina was found to be missing from the medieval castle in the heart of London several weeks ago when the ravens were all being put to bed, Sky News reported.

The Tower's Ravenmaster, Christopher Skaife, told BBC Radio 4's Today show on Thursday: "Merlina is a free-spirited raven and has been known to leave the Tower precincts on many occasions.

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"I'm her buddy, and she normally comes back to us, but this time she didn't. So, I do fear that she is not with us anymore," he continued.

If Merlina has died, then there will only be seven ravens left at the Tower and legend says that if there are any less than six, then both the Tower will crumble and disaster will befall the kingdom, the Independent added.

The Ravenmaster also told Today: "We do have seven ravens here at the Tower of London, six by royal decree. And of course, I still have a spare one, so we're okay at the moment."

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In a Twitter statement from Thursday, the Tower of London said: "In time, we hope that a new chick from our breeding program will be up to the formidable challenge of continuing her legacy.

"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," it continued in the last of a thread about the raven.

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Although nobody is sure where the legend about the ravens came from, some say it came from King Charles II, who reigned in the 17th century, who is thought to have said that they must be protected after being warned the crown and the Tower itself would fall if they left, according to NBC News.

Others say it comes after Charles II refused to remove the ravens at the request of his Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed, whose view of the stars was being blocked by them, The Guardian noted.

There are still six ravens at the Tower of London and a spare one meaning that the kingdom will not yet fall just yet.

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