Swans Counted One-by-One in 900-Year-Old Tradition

July 19, 2023

In a tradition that dates back to the 1100s, boats filled with workers are rowing the River Thames to count swans. It’s called Swan Upping, the official census of His Majesty’s swans. All of the swans in England and Wales belong to the monarchy. It's a rule that goes back to when swan meat was a delicacy reserved for the royals and aristocracy. Today, these swans elegantly gliding along the Thames are a protected species,  and not anyone’s dinner.

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