A 64-year-old man living in Lincoln has retired after spending 21 years as a Yeoman Warder for the Queen, and during his time in the role he met a few celebrities too.
Steve Froggatt from Grimsby joined the Royal Marines in 1974 when was 16 and a half years old. He left the Royal Marines in 1996 and sold used cars for around 18 months and a sale to a beefeater led to him getting his job serving the Queen.
He was approached by a former Tower Governor and applied for the role of Yeoman Warder, which is more commonly known as a beefeater, and spent 21 years in the role.
In addition, he will shortly retire from his role in the River Police at the Metropolitan Police, where he has spent 17 years in a part-time voluntary role.
Steve lived in a house at the Tower with his wife and five children and also has a home in Waddington, which they moved to around seven or eight years ago.
His last shift at the Tower of London was around three weeks ago, but he officially retired on Monday, October 12, although he is still a Supernumerary Yeoman Warder meaning he can be called up for major events such as a coronation or funeral.
He was due to retire in a year or two but as the Tower of London is going through redundancies, Steve took the difficult decision to take voluntary redundancy to help protect the younger employees in the Yeoman Warders body.
The end of his time as a Yeoman Warder, which is a team of around 37 people, saw him recently awarded the Royal Victorian Medal for his services to the Queen.
He was notified about the medal a few weeks ago and will attend a formal event at the palace in uniform in the future.
Steve told The Lincolnite: “It is amazing. I’m from Grimsby and this doesn’t normally happen to people from Grimsby. It was out of the blue and a bit of a shock, but I felt chuffed and it is good for the Yeoman body to be recognised.
“It was quite strange when I left for the last time. If it was a non-COVID time there would have been a glass of port at my last tour and it would have been more celebratory, but I will be going back to the Tower for a presentation in the near future that will have to be low key.”
Steve’s work for the Queen saw him act as security, look after high profile events, carry out guided tours and escort Her Royal Highness on numerous occasions, as well as perform gun salutes for dignitaries visiting England and other ceremonial duties.
He said: “Escorting the Queen was always fantastic at Hampton Court Palace and at the Tower of London. She is very easy going and you don’t feel pressured when doing it, but you put yourself under pressure.
“I spoke to her when I was one of the youngest at Hampton Court Palace in 2000, which was very nerve wracking but fantastic, but the job is more about escorting.”
Steve’s most memorable moment working at the Tower of London came at a dinner party with his friend and author Tom Clancy, who he said is also an honorary beefeater.
As Tom knew he was a fan of space, he made sure he was sat at the next table to Buzz Aldrin.
He has also met a long list of actors including Matt Damon who he has since enjoyed a beer with, as well as Jude Law and Jonny Lee Miller.
Steve is now looking forward to retirement and spending time with family, including his grandchildren, and fixing and riding motorbikes.
Steve’s wife Julie has also served the Royal Family as she used to work as a White Tower Warden, looking after the artefacts, arms and other important items, during which time she once met Vladimir Putin.