England

Tower of London: First female Beefeater for 10 years

Yeoman Warden Amanda Clarke Image copyright Historic Royal Palaces
Image caption Yeoman Warden Amanda Clarke has served in the army for 22 years

A Lancashire soldier has become the first woman in 10 years - and only the second in history - to be made a Beefeater at the Tower of London.

Amanda Clark, 42, who has served with the Royal Logistics Corps for 22 years, is the newest Yeoman of the Guard.

The Burnley-born soldier said: "It didn't really hit me until the first time I wore the uniform and realised I am now part of the Tower's history."

The first female Beefeater was Moira Cameron, from Argyll, in 2007.

Warrant Officer Clark said: "Waking up at the Tower of London is magical. Every morning I wake up and the Tower looks so peaceful."

'Can't stop smiling'

She added: "I can't stop smiling."

The Yeoman Warders are descended from the ancient band of warders who guarded the gates and royal prisoners early in the Tower's history.

Their modern duties mix a traditional ceremonial role with leading tours for visitors.

They are still extraordinary members of the Queen's bodyguard and, to qualify, applicants must have served at least 22 years in the armed forces, hold the long service and good conduct medal and reached the level of Warrant Officer.

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