Sir Nicholas gets keys to the Tower of London as new Chief Constable
PUBLISHED: 11:28 07 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:34 07 October 2016
© DavidJensen 2016
Britain’s former Chief of the Defence Staff has been given the gold keys to look after the Crown Jewels as the new Constable of Constable of the Tower of London.
General Sir Nicholas Houghton has been installed as the 160th Constable of The Tower, the oldest High Office in England.
He was formally handed the traditional keys as symbol of his office by Earl Peel, the Lord Chamberlain, on behalf of the Queen.
The role of Constable of the 1,000-year-old royal palace is acting as the monarch’s representative, the most ancient office dating back to the Norman Conquest.
The Tower’s famous Beefeaters, or Yeoman Warders, were on parade for Wednesday’s ceremony in their scarlet and gold State Dress.
Also on parade was Sir Nicholas’s previous regiment, the 1st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, as well as the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the City of London’s own Honourable Artillery Company, the Band of the Scots Guards and the State Trumpeters of the Life Guards.
Sir Nicholas takes over from General Lord Dannatt who retired in July after his seven-year term of office in which he championed the ‘Seas of Red’ poppies art installation in the Tower Moat in 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
Lord Dannatt also helped raise millions of pounds for Armed Forces charities and campaigned for the conservation of the Tower chapels.