Word soon got around that the Beatles had arrived in Savile Row. Crowds of teenaged girls came to stand and stare for hours, hoping for a glimpse of their idols. They booed Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s Japanese girlfriend, and hissed Linda Eastman, Paul McCartney’s new friend. Linda clung tightly to Paul’s arm to let everyone know that she was his woman now.
Hell’s Angels arrived from San Francisco with their motor bikes. Blind girls from Texas waited patiently on the pavement, hoping to be touched by John Lennon. It became so bad after a while that Lennon decided he had had enough. Soon after the concert on the roof, he announced his intention to quit.
Nobody really believed him as he drove away from Savile Row in his white Rolls-Royce, but the Beatles broke up later that year and never played together again.
The White Tower at the Tower of London is so named because it was given a coat of whitewash in 1240. It was being used as a state prison four years later when a foreign prince decided to escape from his cell at the top of the building.
On the night of 1 March 1244 he climbed out of the window in the darkness and shinned down a makeshift rope. Unfortunately, the escape did not go entirely according to plan:
‘Having (in the night) made of the hangings, sheets, towels and table cloths a long line, he put himself down from the top of the Tower.
‘But in the sliding, the weight of his body (being a very big and a fat man) brake the rope, and he fell and brake his neck withal; whose miserable carcass being found in the morning by the Tower wall, was a most pitiful sight to the beholders. For his head and neck were driven into his breast between the shoulders.’
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 137. Ouch! Name this foreign prince who died so miserably at the Tower of London.
‘As sharp as Evelyn Waugh and sometimes better’ – Times Literary Supplement
‘Good, clean fun’ – Daily Telegraph
‘Pure comic pleasure’ – Spectator