A five-year-old girl from Petersfield, England has had the surprise of her life after writing to the Queen to ask if she could have a pet swan.
Young Lyndsay Simpson wrote to the Queen after she heard the royal monarch owned all the swans in England (technically the Queen co-owns all unmarked mute swans in “certain stretches of the Thames), promising to take good care of the swan and keep it in her bath at home.
Nick Robbins, a family friend, told the Petersfield Post, “One day she just asked if we could get a pet swan. I asked her where we would keep it, and she said ‘in the bath.’ I said that the Queen owns all the swans in England so she decided to write to the Queen.”
Simpson promptly got to work writing her request to the Queen.
Her grandmother Carol Bax said: “She put her name on the bottom and wrote age five. We put it in an envelope addressed to the Queen and then we thought nothing more of it.”
The entire family were surprised when just a few weeks later they heard Simpson shout from the living room, “I’ve got a letter from the Queen!”.
The letter was written on official Buckingham Palace stationary and sweetly encouraged Simpson to continue her interest in England’s wildlife.
The response, according to the Petersfield Post, read: “The Queen has asked me to thank you for your letter…from which Her Majesty has taken careful note of your comments regarding the keeping of swans as pets.
“I should perhaps explain that it is a common misconception that The Queen owns all the swans in the United Kingdom.
“In fact, Her Majesty only owns mute swans and only exercises her right of ownership over swans on certain parts of the River Thames.”
The letter added that the Queen was encouraged to hear of Simpson’s interest in native wildlife and enclosed a booklet on royal swan upping, to help her to learn more.