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Rum do as Germans march on Tower of London for Hanovarian birthday bash

PUBLISHED: 20:27 23 May 2014

Germans march on The Tower  for 300th Hanovarian birthday bash. Picture: Richard Lea-Hair

Germans march on The Tower for 300th Hanovarian birthday bash. Picture: Richard Lea-Hair

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The Germans came marching into the Tower of London today—to mark the 300th anniversary of Britain’s Hanoverian dynasty.

Handing over keg of rum to Constable of The Tower. Picture: Richard Lea-HairHanding over keg of rum to Constable of The Tower. Picture: Richard Lea-Hair

The Hanoverian warship Niedersachsen arrived in the Pool of London and moored alongside HMS Belfast, a veteran of the Second World War, to take part in the ancient Constable’s Dues ceremony.

The ship’s commander lead his crew to the West Gate to deliver a barrel of “precious nectar” to the Constable of The Tower.

But they were first challenged for entry by the Yeoman Gaoler, as tradition has it, who was armed with his infamous axe!

The crew were then allowed through to Tower Green, accompanied by Beefeaters in red and gold State Dress and a Corps of Drums, to deliver the keg representing the Dues to the Tower’s Constable, General Lord Richard Dannatt.

Historically, every ship arriving on the Thames to the City of London had to unload a portion of its cargo, usually a barrel of rum, for the Constable in order to “enjoy the protection of the Tower guns.”

The rum custom can be traced back to the 14th century—but none of the Constables have ever shown signs of wanting the tradition stopped!

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