Escorted on to Tower Green by an armed guard I was there to photograph the highest-ranking members of the Yeoman Warders, better known as the Beefeaters for Channel 5. Shooting quickly, my assistant and I shot eight different setups in an hour, running from one to the next to meet the next Yeoman Warder.
Known more commonly as the beefeaters their full title is a bit longer! They are the Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Members of the Sovereign’s Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary. To become a Yeoman Warder, you must have served at least 22 years in the armed forces and have achieved the rank of Warrant Officer and have been awarded both the long service and Good Conduct medal. Traditionally their primary roles were to look after prisoners in prison and protect the crown jewels. Their roles now are mainly running the towers formalities and guiding tourists; they still protect the jewels though.
We were given permission to walk on Tower Green which is very rare and to photograph the Yeoman Warders in front of the Queen’s house that dates back to 1530. Tower Green is a secluded area of grass inside the Tower walls that wasn’t viewable historically – private hangings/executions would take place there to preserve dignity for nobles or privacy for the Queen. The Queens House was always ready to house the Queen in case of trouble; she could easily be protected within the Towers walls. A huge thanks to my assistant Will, Carl for the Commission, the Yeoman Warders and staff at the Tower for making the shoot so memorable. Below are a few of the final images.
Images in use on the official Tower of London website here.
For more of my portrait work please visit the portrait page.