It's a brave new world. Or more accurately, it's a brave new old world catching up to a brave new world that emerged in the 1970s. England's venerated Yeoman Warders, guardians of the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels, have admitted their first female member. About time, since the Warders have been around since 1485.
Moira Cameron made her debut yesterday, giving tours of the 941 year-old fortress. Said Cameron:
“It's wonderful to meet these people because they so want to be here and are interested in anything you can tell them. And you can have a really good laugh with them as well.”
There was never a formal ban on female Beefeaters, but since the job requires at least 22 years of good service in the UK armed forces, women were often at at a disadvantage. Recent rule changes have allowed women to claim their maternity leave as part of their service, thereby allowing them to rack up service years equal to their male counterparts.
Cameron has been generally well received by the other warders (there are 35) and the general public. A few idiots have protested, but, well, that's why they're idiots. I've been to the ToL twice, and given my historical nerdiosity, I will go again (full disclosure: I actually lived next to the Tower for a year). And I look forward to a Moira Cameron tour.