Queen Elizabeth Owns Literally Every Swan and Dolphin in the U.K.
Alright let's be honest with a show of hands here, how many of you have kicked up your feet after a grueling week and tuned into a delightfully juicy episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?
OK good, glad we're being honest together and can admit we've all enjoyed watching Lisa Vanderpump running around her swan-filled mansion. We thought having swans as playful pets was a quintessentially Vanderpump-ish quirk, but turns out it may just a British thing in general, because Queen Elizabeth seems to feel the exact same way about the birds, as Harper's Bazaar points out.
Now, we're not suggesting the British monarchy is basically The Real Housewives of Kensington Palace (though how great would that be?), but there are some similarities when it comes to animal companions. Because apparently Queen Elizabeth owns a lot of swans.
How many is a lot? Literally every single swan in U.K. waters. Oh, and every British dolphin too (can dolphins be British?)
“As early as the twelfth century, the Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans in the country because the birds were highly valued as a delicacy at banquets and feasts," Reader's Digest reports. "In the fifteenth century, The Worshipful Company of Dyers and The Worshipful Company of Vintners were given the right to own swans on the River Thames. They have maintained their swan marks to the present day and therefore share ownership of mute swans on the River Thames with the queen.”
Here's what that actually means: If Dyers or Vinters don't claim the swan, it's Queen Elizabeth's. End of rule.
But what about dolphins? That, as Time reports, comes from a 1324 United Kingdom statute. “The King shall have … whales and sturgeons taken in the sea or elsewhere within the realm.” Reader's Digest clarifies that this statute is still going strong, which means it extends to dolphins too.
Looks like the queen's corgi crew has competition.