Swan Upping in Henley
Join us on the River Thames at Henley to watch the Swan Upping ceremony
Due to the success of this event two years ago, we have arranged another day out on the River Thames on board the Hibernia to watch the annual Swan Upping carried out on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen and the Vintners’ and Dyers’ Livery Companies.
We have hired a boat to follow the swan marking as it progresses along the Thames. The ticket price includes a three course sit-down lunch with half a bottle of wine. A cash bar is available on board for other drinks. Due to the likely demand for this event, you are only able to bring one guest. A waiting list will be set up.
The colourful ceremony of Swan Upping dates from medieval times, when the Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans at a time when swans were considered an important food source for banquets and feasts. Today, the Crown retains the right to ownership of all unmarked Mute swans in open water – indeed Her Majesty still holds the formal title of “Seigneur of the Swans”. She only exercises her ownership on certain stretches of the River Thames and its surrounding tributaries. Her ownership is shared with the Vintners' and Dyers' Companies, who were both granted rights of ownership by the Crown in the fifteenth century. Nowadays, the main purpose of Swan Upping is to count and mark the swans rather than catch them to be eaten.