Every day, it seems, we learn something new. That’s what makes life interesting. Our parents–well, the parents of one of us to be exact–are visiting for Thanksgiving and while doing their research found out that swans in The Thames are actually owned by HRH Queen Elizabeth.
We weren’t being Doubting Thomases, but before putting the newly acquired knowledge in print, we did a quick search to find out more. According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the UK’s conservation charity, any unmarked mute swans are considered to belong to the Queen. But according to the monarchy’s official website, the Queen “only exercises her ownership on certain stretches of the Thames and its surrounding tributaries”.
What’s interesting is that every year there’s a Census of swans along The Thames, with the historic swan upping ceremony dating back to the 12th Century when the crown owned all swans. Check out this video if you’re interested in learning more about swan upping:
We haven’t come across any swans on The Thames, but found some photos of water birds in Hyde Park. Enjoy!