The Swan Upping 2009

  July 21, 2009 at 6:30 am by

Yesterday Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Seigneur of the Swans, observed for the first time the Swan Upping from a launch on the River Thames.

The Queen owns all unmarked mute swans in the United Kingdom, but today Her Majesty only exercises this right in the area of the Thames. Each year, in the third week of July, the annual swan census is carried out by Her Majesty’s Swan Marker and members of the Worshipful Company of Vintners and the Worshipful Company of Dyers.

The Swans are weighed, measured and marked in a bid to conserve the swan population and ensure the welfare of the swans. This ancient ceremony has taken on a new “green” role and is one of the many ways the Royal Household takes part in green and environmental initiatives.

Swan Upping is a colourful sight, with flags, uniforms and banners. This year it can be viewed on the following days:

Monday, 20 July 2009: Eton Bridge to Cookham

Tuesday, 21 July 2009: Cookham to Marlow Lock

Wednesday, 22 July 2009: Marlow Bridge to Sonning Bridge

Thursday, 23 July 2009: Sonning-on-Thames to Moulsford

Friday, 24 July 2009: Moulsford to Abingdon Bridge

The Queen’s Swan Marker and his team wear distinctive uniforms and his cap contains a large swan feather. Each day the markers stand and toast The Queen and as they sail past Windsor Castle they stand in salute to “Her Majesty The Queen, Seigneur of the Swans”. Click here to view a video of this year’s event.

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3 Responses to The Swan Upping 2009

  1. Affy-Ann says:

    I’d love to watch this. =)

  2. Catie says:

    I was lucky enough to go on Thursday with the Worshipful Company of Vintners. I really enjoyed it and stroked 2 swans. I hope to go again next year

  3. Lisa Mitchell says:

    I beleive that charters of ownership were also granted to the Worshipful Companies of Vinters and Dyers in the Middle Ages.

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