Royal Navy Warrant Officer Class 1 Rob Fuller has become the first sailor from the Senior Service to be a Yeoman Warder of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress The Tower of London.

"It is surreal to see Tower Bridge out of the living room window. My kids think it's cool and like dad's job and his London pad a lot," Fuller said in a statement.

"I feel very proud and privileged to join the long, illustrious line of Beefeaters - and blaze a trail for fellow matelots," Fuller added.

Rob Fuller, whose 34-year-long career in the Royal Navy made him serve in assault ships Fearless and Intrepid and as Executive Warrant Officer - the most high ranking - aboard former flagship HMS Ark Royal, is the first sailor to don the famous black and red uniform.

Fuller had to go for a tour along with the Constable of the Tower to show him that he knew everything about the historic riverside fortification. Also, he had to undergo a five months training - including learning "the story of the Tower."

The 52-year-old Fuller passed the test and was ready to guide the first of the daily 10,000 visitors through the gates of the Tower, with the help of the three dozen other Beefeaters - the first sailor to do so in the 502-year history of the Yeoman Warders.

In years past the Beefeaters served as guards for the gates and prisoners in the Tower (including the Kray twins for avoiding National Service in the early 1950s), but today the role is a mix of ceremonial and tour guide (although the warders are also Extraordinary Members of the Queen's Bodyguard).

However, since the rule of Henry VIII, ex-soldiers, and more recently airmen and Royal Marines, have performed the duty of guarding, and latterly, guiding visitors around the historic fortress. All must have completed at least 22 years' service and reached the rank of warrant officer.

Until 2009, sailors were exempt from the role. Unlike soldiers, airmen and marines, they swear no oath of allegiance to the monarch. But the Governor of the Tower petitioned The Queen to change the rules and Her Majesty assented.