Buckinghamshire's Barry Stringer MBE has landed his dream job as the Tower of London's newest Beefeater!
He becomes the 410th Yeoman Warder since records began in the 19th Century and the first RAF Musician to join the Yeoman Body. Yeoman Warder Stringer takes on this iconic role following more than 33 years of distinguished service in the RAF.
Over the next few months, YW Stringer will learn word-for-word the Story - the script of the famous Yeoman Warder Tour - before being allowed to lead a tour himself.
He will also become familiar with each of the 21 separate duties that the Yeoman Warders conduct each and every day, including the Ceremony of the Keys, a closing ceremony that has taken place every night at the Tower of London without fail for at least 700 years.
Father of two, YW Stringer was born in Liverpool and his family home is in High Wycombe. Before joining the Tower of London, he was a Flight Sergeant and led the RAF Salon Orchestra and managed the RAF Central Band, both based at RAF Northolt.
Having served military duties in Iraq, as an accomplished violinist he has also performed all over the world, from London’s Royal Albert Hall to Washington DC. When not in uniform, YW Stringer shares his passion for music by volunteering at a youth music centre in High Wycombe.
Yeoman Warder Stringer said: “Being the 410th Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London is a huge honour and I am chuffed to be here.
"Wearing the famous uniform of the Queen’s Bodyguard makes you feel ten-feet tall and it’s amazing to share this experience with my wife Justine and our two kids.
"When I joined the RAF at 20, never in my wildest dreams did I think it would lead to these kinds of incredible opportunities. Living in a thousand-year-old fortress in the heart of London is awe-inspiring – I have to keep pinching myself!”
The Yeoman Warders are descended from the ancient band of warders who guarded the gates and royal prisoners, early in the Tower’s history. Modern Yeoman Warders are still Extraordinary Members of the Queen’s Bodyguard.
They are all former warrant officers from Her Majesty’s Forces with an honourable service record of at least 22 years. Today they combine their traditional ceremonial role with a love of history to make the past come to life for visitors.