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Some say the continued presence of the ravens at the Tower of London is due to Charles II. Working in the Royal Observatory, housed in the White Tower, the king’s astronomer John Flamsteed complained that the birds were hampering his work. Sympathetic to the frustrations, the king ordered the destruction of the ravens only to change his mind. Fearful that disaster would befall the kingdom, as foretold by the ancient legend, he decreed that at least six ravens should remain at the Tower at all times. Even though the story is most likely a Victorian flight of fancy, the legend is alive and well.

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