Queen Elizabeth has sacrificed so much during the coronavirus pandemic. She can be hardly seen complaining though. This time, her beloved tradition is cancelled, just one of the many royal events that she loved participating in that has to allow to be cancelled for the greater good.
After Trooping the Colour, Royal Ascot, the yearly Maundy Service, and the Chelsea Flower show, all of which the Queen loves to grace in, she now has to add her favorite Swan upping to the list of canceled royal events. Oh, she also has to cancel most of the traditional festivities on her birthday too.
Swan upping is a 800-years-old tradition!
But the pandemic is no joke, so this tradition has to be added to the long list of practice that the Queen has to give up on. This involves the practice of counting swans on the River Thames and it would be virtually impossible for the Royal Swan Uppers, to maintain social distancing protocols should the event continue.
The Royal Swan Uppers are those who don the scarlet uniform of the Queen and travel using traditional rowing skiffs. They are the ones who catch, weigh, as well as tag the birds. It’s just not possible do all that without them coming into close contact with each other. These are very hands-on duties, so the whole event has to be cancelled; otherwise, the practice would hardly be the same practice that the Queen Elizabeth enjoyed for years.
“Although not unexpected, it is of course disappointing that members of the public and local schoolchildren will not be able to enjoy Swan Upping this year,” Queen’s swan marker David Barber explained in a. statement about the annual swan census being canceled.
This is a blow, considering the Queen also has to let go of some responsibilities she has been used to doing.
Meanwhile, the queen’s staff are all feeling stressed about the budget cuts happening and can continue to happen at the palace. Not only should the Queen limit herself on the events that can be held this year, she has to also limit the aid she can get.
The Palace is not immune to the economic downturn happening in the UK and the rest of the world due to the health crisis with economic implications.
According to the Sun, the head of the royal household, Lord Chamberlain Earl William Peel already sent an email to his staff about the uncertain times that they are all facing, especially financially. In his email, he estimated that tourism revenues will be down by around 35% over 2020.
Normally, the Buckingham Palace opens to the public when the queen spends her summer at the Balmoral, but this will be closed this year, as many of the attractions in the household. This can have an impact on the palace’s coffers as well.
“The crisis has already tested our resilience, adaptability and preparedness in many ways and at all levels across the organization. It has also had a significant impact on the activities of the whole Royal Household,” he wrote in the email, which the Sun was able to gather.
He added that although the UK is already over the peak of the infections, social distancing will continue indefinitely until such time that it is already 100% safe to stop it. ” We must therefore assume it could still be many weeks, if not months, before we are able to return to business as usual,” he added.