It is a sign of the times as the coronavirus pandemic and global shutdowns have dealt major blows to economies around the world. In the latest example, the traditional Beefeaters outside the Tower of London face job cuts for the first time in their 535 year history.
Due to tourism being down in the city and in much of the world, the demand for Beefeaters at the Tower of London has fallen.
“A Beefeater who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fear of backlash in the workplace said that the corps had spent years serving the public and protecting the tower only to be asked to take voluntary redundancies during an uncertain time,” The Washington Post reported.
“Historic Royal Palaces is a self-funded charity. We depend on visitors for 80 percent of our income,” John Barnes, the chief executive of Historic Royal Palaces told Washington Post.
The Tower of London reopened on July 10, but a majority of visitors are not locals and rather travelers from abroad. According to Barnes, due to the 16-week closure of the Tower of London, they have lost $123 million in revenue.
The Beefeaters guard the 1,000-year-old Tower of London in the center of the city and were founded in 1485 by King Henry VII and are dressed in flashy red and gold uniforms. Beefeaters are former Royal military members with at least 22 years experience and live on premise with their families.
The Beefeaters are said to be anxious as they need to find new accommodations as well as schools for their children.
While the Beefeaters in modern times help give tours, shed history on the grounds, they still protect the Crown Jewels.