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Queen's Swans Checked And Counted In Annual Ceremony

Royal officials clad in scarlet outfits took to the River Thames in traditional boats on Monday for the annual “Swan Upping” ceremony, an 800-year-old tradition of counting the swans owned by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.

Teams in old fashioned skiffs will row up a stretch of the river over the next five days to carry out the annual census of the birds, shouting “all up” when they come across a mute swan and its family.

The swans and their young cygnets are then counted, weighed and checked for injury.

The Queen's Swan Uppers at Shepperton Lock, Surrey. Photo: AAP

“I am pleased to see that the breeding season has begun very well this year with a high level of nesting activity on the river,” said David Barber, the queen’s Swan Marker.

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Teams in old fashioned skiffs will row up a stretch of the river over the next five days to carry out the annual census of the birds, shouting “all up” when they come across a mute swan and its family.

A Queen's Swan Upper holds a cygnet near Chertsey, Surrey. Photo: AAP

The swans and their young cygnets are then counted, weighed and checked for injury.

“I am pleased to see that the breeding season has begun very well this year with a high level of nesting activity on the river,” said David Barber, the queen’s Swan Marker.