Swan Upping 2018

Queen attends annual Swan Upping
Queen Elizabeth II (centre) with Swan Warden Professor Christopher Perrins (front left) and her team of Swan Uppers lead by Swan Marker David Barber (front right) at Oakley Court.


Swan Upping, the annual census of the swan population on the River Thames, has been announced today by The Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber.

This year, Swan Upping will begin on Monday 16th July, departing from Sunbury Lock Cut, and will finish at Abingdon Bridge in Oxfordshire on Friday 20th July.

Announcing the schedule for Swan Upping, David Barber said:

“Last year saw a significant improvement in cygnet numbers compared to the last two years, with a total of 132 new cygnets on the River Thames. This uplift was welcomed after an outbreak of Avian Influenza at the start of the year.

“Floods and fast flowing water in April posed a further challenge – however some breeding pairs have now successfully rebuilt their nests.

“Throughout the year we have been delighted that members of the public have kept a watchful eye on so many of the nesting swans. It is encouraging to see how important the welfare of swans and their young cygnets are to so many people.”

Swan Upping aims to educate people about swan welfare and the need to protect our mute swan population. Several primary schools will therefore join for the journey up river, and have the opportunity to learn about the mute swan’s biology, the boats used and the Royal connection.

Local schools seeking further information about Swan Upping week should contact the Swan Marker’s office on 01628 523030 or email info@royalswan.co.uk.

The observation points and times are as follows (all times given are approximate):

Monday 16th July 2018

  • Sunbury 09.00 – Departure point
  • Shepperton Lock 10.15
  • Penton Hook Lock 12.30
  • Romney Lock 17.30

Tuesday 17th July 2018

  • Eton Bridge 08.30 – Departure point
  • Boveney Lock 09.30
  • Boulters Lock 12.00
  • Cookham Bridge 13.00
  • Marlow Lock 17.00

Wednesday 18th July 2018

  • Marlow Bridge 09.00 – Departure point
  • Hurley Lock 10.30
  • Hambleden Lock 12.00
  • Henley Town 13.30
  • Marsh Lock 15.30
  • Shiplake Lock 17.00
  • Sonning Bridge 18.00

Thursday 19th July 2018

  • Sonning-on-Thames 09.00 – Departure point
  • Caversham Lock 10.15
  • Mapledurham Lock 12.15
  • Goring Lock 17.00
  • Moulsford 18.00

Friday 20th July 2018

  • Moulsford 09.00 – Departure point
  • Benson Lock 10.15
  • Clifton Hampden Bridge 13.00
  • Culham Lock 16.15
  • Abingdon Bridge 17.00

The ceremony of Swan Upping takes place during the third week of July every year. Swan Upping dates from the twelfth century, when The Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans which were considered an important food source for banquets and feasts. Today The Crown retains the right of ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water, but The Queen mainly exercises this right on certain stretches of the River Thames and its surrounding tributaries. This ownership is shared with the Vintners’ and Dyers’ Livery Companies who were granted rights of ownership by The Crown in the fifteenth century.

The Queen’s Swan Marker and the accompanying Swan Uppers of the Vintners’ and Dyers’ Livery Companies use six traditional Thames rowing skiffs in their five-day journey upstream to Abingdon. By tradition scarlet uniforms are worn by The Queen’s Swan Marker and Swan Uppers, and each boat flies the appropriate flag and pennant. On occasion, The Queen has travelled up the River Thames to witness the historic ceremony.

It has always been the duty of the Sovereign’s Swan Marker to count the number of young cygnets each year and ensure that the swan population is maintained. The cygnets are weighed and measured to obtain estimates of growth rates and the birds are examined for any sign of injury, commonly caused by fishing hook and line. With the assistance of The Queen’s Swan Warden, Professor Christopher Perrins of the University of Oxford, the swans and young cygnets are also assessed for any signs of disease. The cygnets are ringed with individual identification numbers by The Queen’s Swan Warden. The Queen’s Swan Marker produces an annual report after Swan Upping detailing the number of swans, broods and cygnets counted during the week.

The Queen’s Swan Marker also advises organisations across the country about swan welfare, gives presentations to local schools and charities, and monitors the health of the local swan population. The Queen’s Swan Marker works closely with swan rescue organisations, supervises the rescue of sick and injured swans and advises fishing and boating organisations about how to work with wildlife.

Speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the DNRC to the Nation


A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the Official Handover of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre to the Nation, Nottinghamshire

Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, it is a huge honour and personal privilege for me to be here today.

I have been the Patron of the DNRC for 4years and I have enjoyed every single moment of it. I have seen the growth of an idea transfer into what we see today – and it is rare and immensely satisfying thing to have witnessed. Every time I have come here, there is something new – sometimes in terms of thinking, obviously in terms of construction, and always in terms of a will to achieve what my friend Gerald, the late Duke of Westminster set out to do.

Along the way I have demolished a building – George was at an age at the time that he loved seeing the digger in action, so it did my street cred as a father the world of good.

I had my first go on a hand cycle a year ago when the extraordinary hand cycle track had been completed – and I have to admit that it’s more difficult than you might think.

Throughout the process, I have met many of the major donors who have so generously helped make this happen.

And, at every stage, I have been inspired by people who have triumphed in adversity after some very serious wounding.

I very much echo what The Duke of Westminster said earlier, that the opportunity to extend to civilians what has been done on the Defence side of rehabilitation estate is central to what Gerald Westminster set out to achieve – he told me that he viewed it as the ‘big prize’. I should, along with many others here today, very much like to see that opportunity come to pass. To that end, it is heartening that the latest ambassador for the DNRC is a civilian, Billy Monger, who as many of you will know has returned to motor racing after a very serious accident. Hugh Westminster has outlined the many people who have brought the DNRC to this stage. I do not underestimate the complexity of the construction task here and the quality that has been required.

This is been possible because of the engagement of planning authorities across the Midlands; the work of the architects, not least in the course of 300 user groups to ensure the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan have been captured; and of course we also have to thank those who project managed the construction of this place and Interserve who have actually built this.

I now have a specific duty to perform – to read the winning poem from the DNRC National poetry competition. The number of entries was extraordinary – nearly 5 and a half thousand. Participation in the public vote was also very high and the winning poem gained nearly half of the votes. The poet is here today with her family, and her work will be visible on a mural in the Patient Dining Room for all who are treated here to see it. So let me read you ‘One for the team’:

One for the team

I keep seeing you mate, intact and laughing,

holding up your baby to make us smile.

I keep hearing you mate, joking, urging, ‘come on lads keep together, don’t step on the cracks it brings bad luck’.

‘Keep it tight boys, we’ll be home by the footy season’.

We carried you home, silent and broken, you really took one for the team that day.

Your dad stood with pride head high, don’t cry, don’t cry.

Lucy took the flag, a token for the broken. The baby will have it one day.

They’ll go to the wall to see your name, a game, ‘let’s find daddy’s name’ but I keep seeing you mate, my shrink says you’re not there, that makes us laugh doesn’t it?

What do they know.

Christening of Prince Louis

Louis Arthur Charles
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their newborn son outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London.


Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased to announce that the christening of Prince Louis will take place on Monday 9th July at The Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, London.

Prince Louis will be christened by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby.

Zara and Mike Tindall Welcome Baby Girl

MIke Tindall and Zara Tindall arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.


Mrs Michael Tindall was safely delivered of a baby girl on 18th June, at Stroud Maternity Unit. Mr Tindall was present at the birth. The weight of the baby was 9lbs 3oz.

The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princess Royal, Captain Mark Phillips and Mike’s parents, Mr Philip and Mrs Linda Tindall, have been informed and are delighted with the news. The baby’s name will be confirmed in due course.

This baby is the second child for Zara and Mike, the fourth grandchild for The Princess Royal and the seventh great-grandchild for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.

A Speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the International Business Festival Forum


A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the International Business Festival Forum, Liverpool

I am delighted to be here in Liverpool today at the International Business Festival, and I am proud to be the event’s patron this year.

I was impressed to learn that the Festival has delivered more than half a billion pounds of new trade and investment to date. From all that I’ve seen, the team here have continued to build on this success, and I’d like to thank them for all their hard work.

The Business Festival is already demonstrating its success in bringing together international businesspeople to build networks and share knowledge. There are representatives here today of businesses from across the UK and around the world – from India, from China and throughout Europe. Although our backgrounds may be different, we are all united by our shared connection through trade.

Britain has always been a champion of trade and a hub for commerce and exchange between our nations. There is perhaps nowhere in the country that embodies this more than Liverpool.

But the Festival also gives us an opportunity to look beyond the immediate term and at our collective future. I have just come from visiting the Festival’s UK Innovation Hub, where some of the technologies that will shape global business over the coming years and decades are on display.

Presented here by the UK government through the GREAT campaign, these innovations exemplify the creativity and inventiveness of British firms.

We know that one of the major challenges for industry is access to a skilled workforce. It’s something which business and civil society must work together on. It is only by investing in the skills of our young people in enterprise that we will be able to build the fair and prosperous society that we want our children to inherit.

That’s why I’ve been particularly impressed by the emphasis that the Business Festival has placed on developing the next generation of business leaders. After talking to you all, I’m looking forward to meeting some budding young business people, to discuss what they’ve learned here at the Festival and where they feel their future in business lies.

Businesses – both large and small – are responsible for many things that are the bedrock of our society: quality of life, meaningful employment, prosperity and technological solutions. Many of the charities I work with cannot make progress unless they partner with business. That is why I’m particularly proud to be patron of a Festival that shares my belief that business can and must be an international force for good.

I wish you all an engaging and profitable time at the Business Festival. I hope you leave with your address books bursting with new contacts and opportunities from all across the world. I look forward to hearing about your future success. Thank you.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Visit Ireland

Duke and Duchess of Sussex

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit Ireland

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit Dublin, Ireland on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th July. This visit is at the request of Her Majesty’s Government.

The Duke and Duchess are looking forward to learning more about Ireland’s history and experiencing its rich culture, as well as meeting the people who are shaping the country’s future.

Full details of the visit will be announced in due course.

Duke of Cambridge to Attend Reception for The Royal Marsden Trust

Duke of Cambridge

The Duke of Cambridge, President, will attend a reception for The Royal Marsden Trust

Thursday 14th June 2018

The Duke of Cambridge, President, will attend a reception for The Royal Marsden Trust at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 14th June 2018.

The Royal Marsden opened its doors in 1851 as the world’s first hospital dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education. Today, together with its academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), The Royal Marsden is the largest and most comprehensive cancer centre in Europe treating and seeing over 50,000 NHS and private patients every year, as well as a centre of excellence with an international reputation for ground-breaking research and pioneering the very latest in cancer treatments and technologies.

Duke of Cambridge’s Taskforce Announces New Members

Duke of Cambridge

Major Tech Companies Join Taskforce to Combat Cyberbullying

One of the world’s fastest growing and influential social media firms musical.ly, and the mobile network, Three, have become the latest members of The Duke of Cambridge’s taskforce to combat cyberbullying.

Two years ago, The Duke of Cambridge brought together a collaboration of the most influential names in media, gaming, social media and internet provision, alongside charities, parents and children, to try and find new ways of reducing the impact of cyberbullying.

Moved by the stories he was hearing from parents and children whose lives had been deeply affected, sometimes tragically, by cyberbullying, His Royal Highness and The Royal Foundation have been driving an agenda to change behaviour and provide young people and parents with more support.

Chaired by tech entrepreneur Brent Hoberman CBE, the Taskforce members include: The Anti-Bullying Alliance; Apple; BT; The Diana Award; EE; Facebook; Google; Internet Matters; NSPCC; O2; Sky; Snapchat; Supercell; TalkTalk; Twitter; Virgin Media and Vodafone.

Last year the Taskforce launched a national action plan, putting the UK at the global forefront of trying to tackle the issue. The action plan included:

  • A national, youth-led code of conduct for the internet (Stop Speak Support) and supporting campaign
  • Facebook and Snapchat trialling the provision of emotional support for users reporting bullying on their platforms
  • A major new commitment for social media and gaming firms to adhere to new guidelines, which put young people’s safety online at the heart of product design
  • Taskforce members building a universal strategy for information, ensuring all online resources for support and help – whether aimed at young people or parents – are high quality, reliable and have common themes

Chair of the Taskforce, Brent Hoberman CBE said:

“We are delighted that Three and musical.ly are joining the Taskforce. As key players in the digital lives of young people, it’s great that they are joining other industry and charity leaders to help ensure the Cyberbullying Taskforce has the maximum positive impact for as many young people as possible.”

Alex Zhu, co-founder of musical.ly said:

“We are honoured to be a part of the Taskforce’s efforts and excited for the opportunity to collaborate with other industry leaders similarly committed to taking action against cyberbullying. At musical.ly, we are committed to fostering a safe and welcoming environment for our users. We’ve added numerous protective measures over even the past few months alone, and we look forward to working together with others in the Taskforce to address this industry-wide challenge and improve the online experiences we each provide.”

Dave Dyson, CEO at Three UK, said:

“Cyberbullying is an issue that can have potentially devastating effects particularly on younger people in terms of their confidence, happiness and wellbeing. We believe that joining the Cyberbullying Taskforce is a vital step in demonstrating our support in helping to tackle it. We hope to help continue to increase awareness of all the great work they have achieved and want to use our position as a major UK mobile network to help combat this very current problem for society today.”

The two new members were confirmed at the latest meeting of the Taskforce, which took place on Tuesday, at Founders Factory in West London.

Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to Visit Northern Ireland and Ireland 


 The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Northern Ireland and Ireland 

12th – 15th June 2018 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Northern Ireland and Ireland from 12th – 15th June. 

In Northern Ireland, Their Royal Highnesses will undertake a range of engagements, including visiting Omagh as part of commemorations on the twentieth anniversary of the Omagh bomb. The Prince’s programme will start on Tuesday in Belfast with a visit to the Carlisle Memorial Church where His Royal Highness will meet members of the local community; watch a performance by The Ulster Orchestra; and meet dancers from the nearby Indian Community Centre. The Prince will also visit Ulster University’s Coleraine Campus to help celebrate its 50th anniversary.

On Wednesday, His Royal Highness will visit Omagh Hospital and will then be joined by Her Royal Highness for a visit to the Gortin area, before visiting the town of Omagh to meet those affected by the bomb, members of the emergency services and residents of the town. 

Made at the request of the British Government, Their Royal Highnesses’ visit to Ireland will highlight the essential partnership and friendship between the two Nations, as well as the deep connections between their people. This is the fourth visit Their Royal Highnesses have made to Ireland in as many years, and offers a further opportunity to celebrate the enduring nature of the relationship. 

Their Royal Highnesses will begin the two-day visit to Ireland in Cork where they will be greeted with a civic reception at City Hall, hosted by the Lord Mayor. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will jointly visit the English Market in Cork City, which was previously visited by Her Majesty The Queen in 2011. The Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Simon Coveney will accompany Their Royal Highnesses in Cork and join them for a dinner to celebrate connections between the UK and Ireland. 

On Thursday, The Prince of Wales will also visit University College Cork, where His Royal Highness will meet students and faculty and view cultural and historic treasures from the University’s collection. The Prince will later visit the National Maritime College of Ireland and go on board an Irish Navy Service vessel to showcase the close maritime links between the two nations and to celebrate the flourishing strategic defence relationship. The Duchess of Cornwall will visit a local refuge, which serves women and children who have suffered domestic violence, a cause that 

Her Royal Highness has worked to highlight in the UK and overseas. The Duchess will also visit the Irish National Guide Dogs Training Centre. 

On Friday, Their Royal Highnesses will travel to County Kerry to visit Derrynane House, the ancestral home of 19th century Irish Statesman Daniel O’Connell; and watch a performance at Siamse Tire Irish National Folk Theatre. Later, The Prince and The Duchess will attend a garden party at Killarney House where Their Royal Highnesses will be presented with the Order of Innisfallen, which recognises outstanding contributions to the local economy by people from outside Kerry. 

Garter Day – Windsor Castle

Order of the Garter 2015
Queen Elizabeth II attends the The Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on June 15, 2015



A service for the Most Noble Order of the Garter will be held in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Monday 18th June 2018. The installation of the new Garter Knights will take place during this service. Following the service, The Queen and Members of the Royal Family will depart by carriages for their return journey to the Castle.

Earlier in the day there will be a private Investiture in the Garter Throne Room in Windsor Castle where a Lady Companion, Dame Mary Fagan, and a Knight Companion, The Viscount Brookeborough, will be invested with the Order’s insignia by Her Majesty.

There are currently two vacancies within the Order, after taking into account the two appointments earlier in 2018. The most recent two vacancies have arisen due to the death of The Right Honourable Sir Ninian Stephen (d. 29 October 2017) and Sir William Gladstone (d. 29 March 2018).

The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain, established by King Edward III nearly 700 years ago. The Order includes The Queen, who is Sovereign of the Garter, several senior Members of the Royal Family, and twenty-four knights or ladies chosen in recognition of their work. Knights of the Garter are chosen personally by the Sovereign to honour those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally.

Learn more about the Most Noble Order of the Garter in issue 17 of Royal Life magazine or subscribe to see highlights of the day’s events in the next issue of Royal Life.

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