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July 19, 2010

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David Barber, Queen Elizaberth's swan marker, holds a swan during the annual Swan Upping ceremony on England's River Thames between Shepperton and Windsor on Monday. Swans and cygnets are counted and examined during the ceremony. The five-day census of the swan population dates back to the 12th century when the crown claimed ownership of all mute swans. Today, the crown retains the right to ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water, but the queen only exercises her ownership on certain stretches of the River Thames and its surrounding tributaries.

PHOTO: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

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