Richard the Lionheart supposedly brought them to England from Cyprus after the Third Crusade and the Crown has retained ownership of all unmarked or mute swans.
Many British papers and news broadcasts have dwelt insistently on the personal poignancy of this moment for the Queen -- considering the IRA's assassination in 1979 of her relative, Lord Louis Mountbatten, whom she used to call "Uncle Dickie".
Okay, so I'm a royalist. I admit it. Simply put, I love tradition, and nowhere else in the world can you find such pageantry and history and tradition as in London.
If you're American, you're probably wondering, "Who the heck is Gary Barlow?" Good question.
Tonight much of Washington, D.C.'s glitterati will attend the Diamond Jubilee festivities saluting the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at the British Embassy.
Queen Elizabeth II this week authorized the online release of her great-great grandmother's diaries -- and by doing so may shed light on a century-old quilt mystery and British race relations during Victorian times.
Have you been soaking up all the hoopla over Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee? Well, until they release a DVD set of all the goings-on in the UK, here are some other titles to tide you over.
In addition to the Thames River pageant a series of events on land will celebrate the Queen's Jubilee.
It's hard to believe that Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne sixty years ago this February. In the words of the late historian John Grigg, "Elizabeth II deserves praise for having been a bastion of stability in an age of social and moral flux."
History will surely remember Prince Charles as Nature's Prince, and if he has his way, each one of us will join in on the sustainable revolution that is needed to save humanity from what he calls "a collapse of catastrophic proportions."
No one does interfaith better than the Royal family, and it starts with the Queen herself.
Whereas Americans find their identity in the future that they are building, the British find their identity in their past -- in the institutions, ideas and even buildings that tell the story of a nation that has always been a work in progress.
There's really nothing more English than afternoon tea, and so in honor of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this June, we've rounded up some of our favorite spots to indulge -- in London and the Commonwealth.
From candid photographs of the young queen laughing, holding her own umbrella and having a cup of tea, to more radical silkscreens by Warhol, we notice the departure from a traditional, elevated image to that of one more ordinary and down-to-earth.
The heavy and handsome gold medal was presented at a ceremony at the New Zealand Embassy by a terrific man, Ambassador Mike Moore. I am grateful, and pleased I got through the ceremony without crying, passing out, or tripping.