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

  • Oli Scarff / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 7/15–7/21

    Highland games in Scotland, a diving jaguar in France, wildfires in California and western Canada, a wax Donald Trump, and much more.

  • Adam Pretty / Getty

    Scenes From the 2017 World Aquatics Championships

    Hundreds of athletes from 186 nations are gathered in Budapest, Hungary to compete in 75 events across six disciplines in the 17th FINA World Championships.

  • Jorge Silva / Reuters

    A Walk in the Woods: A Photo Appreciation of Trees

    A collection of images of unusual, intriguing, and beautiful trees and forests around the world.

  • Stevo Vasiljevic / Reuters

    Wildfires Across Southern Europe

    Recent high temperatures and dry, windy conditions in Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, France, and Portugal have resulted in thousands of small wildfires and a few large large blazes.

Join the Discussion