Beefeaters survive 500 years of invasions and rebellions but not Covid-19 as redundancies are announced

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After more than half a millennium guarding the Tower of London from rebellions and invaders, Beefeaters are facing redundancies for the first time because visitor numbers have gone down drastically due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Officially called Yeoman Warders and instantly recognisable with their distinctive red and blue hats and uniforms, the Beefeaters live with their families inside the fortress which houses the Crown Jewels, glittering symbol of the British monarchy.

The Yeoman Warders were formed after the 1485 Battle of Bosworth on the order of King Henry VII, according to the Royal Family website.
It’s the UK’s oldest extant military corps, and the oldest of the royal bodyguards.

Historic Royal Palaces, which manages the Tower along with Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and other sites said the coronavirus had knocked a 98-million-pound ($124-million) hole in its finances.

“The closure of our six sites for almost four months has dealt a devastating blow to our finances, which we expect to continue for the rest of the financial year and to be compounded by the slow recovery of international tourism,” said John Barnes, chief executive of Historic Royal Palaces.

“We simply have no choice but to reduce our payroll costs,” said Barnes. “We urgently need the public to support us by visiting our sites now they have re-opened.”

HRP said that it had introduced a voluntary redundancy schemein June, which closed last week,  but there was no confirmation of how many of the guards had registered their interest.
There is likely to be a compulsory redundancy scheme in the future, according to the statement.

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