In a ceremony dating back 900 years, Field Marshal Sir Richard Hull was installed as Constable of the Tower of London on Wednesday (October 15).
GV Tower exterior
MV Old cannon
GV TILT FROM Cannons to building
CU Lt. General Goodwin walks forward
GV Field Marshal Hull left and Goodwin face Lord Cobbold
MV Trio during ceremony
MV Old soldiers
MV Flag party
MV Lord Cobbold presents keys to Hull
MV ZOOM FROM Principles to Beefeaters
Initials JMR/JF/RJ/1212 JMR/JF/MH/1204
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In a ceremony dating back 900 years, Field Marshal Sir Richard Hull was installed as Constable of the Tower of London on Wednesday (October 15).
The Field Marshal, who was Britain's Chief of Defence Staff from 1965 to 1967, stepped solemnly into one of the oldest offices in the kingdom. Today he is mainly responsible for policy decisions regarding the running of the Tower and he has the privilege of direct communication with the Queen. But once the Constable was one of the most hated men in England, and it was said that the man who held the Tower also held London.
In the old days he augmented his salary by demanding tolls from passing ships, all swans below London Bridge belonged to him and any cattle that fell into the river while trying to cross the bridge and the Treasury gave him an allowance for keeping prisoners, who often included some of the most illustrious names in the land.
Now the man whose famous predecessors have included Thomas Becket and the Duke of Wellington gets a mere GBP200 (less than 500 dollars) a year.
But to hold the post is still considered a great honour and the installation ceremony is conducted with pomp and ceremony reflecting its historic origins.
The new Constable received the two golden master-keys to the Tower from Lord Cobbold who, as Lord Chamberlain, is the Queen's representative.
The first Constable of the Tower was Geoffrey de Mandeville a French knight who distinguished himself at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the last successful invasion of England.