First woman beefeater gets taste of the Tower of London
LONDON (AFP) - The first female beefeater at the Tower of London, whose appointment overturned more than 500 years of tradition, smiled broadly as she met her new colleagues.
Moira Cameron, 42, beat five men to the prestigious position and became the first female ever appointed to the famous ceremonial guard.
Yeomen warders, or beefeaters, are a familiar sight to tourists in their red and gold uniforms. They guard the landmark tower and the British crown jewels within, but also act as tour guides and are an attraction in their own right.
Like the other 35 beefeaters, Cameron, from Argyll in western Scotland, has served the minimum 22 years in the armed forces and boasts a long service and a good conduct medal.
She wore her army uniform for her appearance at the tower on Thursday, but when she takes up her duties in September, she will be dressed in a 1,000-pound (1,950-dollar, 1,500-euro) bespoke beefeater outfit.
Beefeaters live at the tower. New yeoman warders are sworn in during a private ceremony with an oath of allegiance which dates back to 1337.
The Tower of London, now a major tourist attraction, was founded in the 11th century.
The beefeater nickname is thought to date back to the days when the yeoman warders were given a daily ration of meat.