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Blue text over an illustration of the Tower of London on a light blue background
Her Majesty’s Tower of London was established under William the Conqueror in 1066 as a way to keep hostile Londoners and foreigners away. The oldest portion, the White Tower, was built in 1080 and has become a well-known symbol of London. Currently, the Tower is home to the Crown Jewels, which were designed in 1660 for the coronation of Charles II and are still worn by the current monarchy.
In the early and late Middle Ages, the tower was used as a fortress and a prison. In 1554, Princess Elizabeth (who would later become Queen) was imprisoned there after being accused of conspiring against her sister, Queen Mary. Her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed at the tower in 1536, and in 1604, Guy Fawkes was executed after being implicated in an assassination attempt against King James I. It became a functioning prison again briefly during World War II when two high-profile Nazis, Josef Jakobs and Rudolph Hess, were captured in Great Britain.
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