Florence or Matilda? Public to name Tower of London’s baby raven

Two baby ravens peer through a cage - they are lying on newspaper with their eyes open
Two baby ravens peer through a cage - they are lying on newspaper with their eyes open

The Tower of London is celebrating the end of its longest closure since the Second World War by asking the public to name its latest arrival: a raven chick.

Born in March, the young corvid will be named either Florence, Matilda, Branwen, Bronte or Winifred, decided by a public vote running between May 4 and May 18.

The legend of the ravens says that if the birds leave the Tower the kingdom will fall, with King Charles II thought to be the first monarch to demand the protection of the birds.

A baby raven at the Tower of London - the raven is looking to its left, with a black and pale beak and a blue eye. In the background are the bars of the cage

Those inclined to believe in such superstitions will be relieved to learn that four raven chicks were born in March to the Tower’s resident breeding pair, Huginn and Muninn.

The unnamed chick and her brother Edgar – named after writer Edgar Allan Poe famous for his poem The Raven’ – will stay in London, taking the Tower’s number of resident ravens to nine.

Read more

Their two siblings will move outside the capital.

“We’re delighted to have two new chicks joining the raven community here at the Tower,” said Yeoman Warder Chris Skaife, Ravenmaster of the Tower of London.

“There’s a lot of pressure when picking names for these famous feathered residents, so I hope that people around the world will help us to name our newest addition, and come and see them in person as they settle into their new home.”

The public will choose between a number of historically significant women in naming the raven, with pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale and the legendary literary Bronte sisters among them.

Visitor income at the Tower has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but the attraction is ready to open its doors again on May 19 with a number of safety measures in place for visitors.

The winning name will be announced as part of the reopening.

To have your say in the naming of one of the Tower’s latest arrivals, visit

The Conversation (0)