Swan Upping on the River Thames

The annual Swan Upping began today in London, England. The five-day census—which dates back to the twelfth century—counts swans and young cygnets belonging to the Queen, while watching for signs of injury or disease. According to Reuters, the ceremony began in the 1100s, when the Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans in the kingdom. “Today, the Crown retains the right to ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water, but the Queen only exercises her ownership on certain stretches of the River Thames and its surrounding tributaries.” The Swan Upping takes place on the third week of July every year, and collected below are images of the event from recent years.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Dia Dipasupil / Getty for Tribeca Festival

    Photos of the Week: Mouse Hunter, Lake Jumper, Sunset Hiker

    Fancy hats at the Royal Ascot, a derailed train in Mexico, military exercises in Morocco, rhythmic gymnastics in Bulgaria, protests at the G7 summit in England, and much more

  • NASA

    The Beauty of Earth From Orbit

    In the past few months, crew members aboard the ISS have taken some amazing photographs of our lovely planet.

  • Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty

    Photos From the 2021 Westminster Dog Show

    Images of the dogs and their handlers during the three-day competition and preliminary activities

  • China Daily via Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Jovian Moon, Sunrise Piper, Sea Snot

    An optical illusion at the Eiffel Tower, a presidential election in Peru, a giant sinkhole in Mexico, a sunrise annular eclipse seen in New York City, a platypus health check in Australia, and much more