ARTWORK BY NAOMI HANDS-SMITH
NEWS AND MEDIA - AUGUST 2022
Does the Queen, or the reigning Monarch, own all swans around the UK?
There is some historical substance to this often-repeated 'fact' but you have to go back hundreds of years to when the much-loved swan was considered to be a delicacy and served up at banquets and feasts.
Back in the 12th century, it was the Monarch who granted valuable ownership rights to noblemen - and these swans were appropriately marked to ensure their ownership could not be disputed.
All unmarked mute swans were considered to be the property of the reigning Monarch.
Swans are no longer eaten as they are protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
But the annual census - known as swan upping - still takes place every July on the River Thames as an important element of wildlife conservation.
Find out even more about the annual swan upping at www.royalswan.co.uk.
Every purchase from River Swan of Avon supports regular donations to the RSPB - see the full range of greeting cards and wall art inspired by the magnificent mute swans that grace the rivers and waterways across the UK at my Etsy shop.