The Queen is said to be ‘profoundly upset’ after more than 20 of her swans have died from what is suspected to be bird flu.
There are fears that the death toll will rise within Her Majesty’s flock of swans at Windsor, with The Queen’s Swan Marker warning that many are “dying at the moment.”
Seven of the dead birds have been transferred to a laboratory where they will undergo tests to establish whether bird flu was the cause of death.
Seven of the dead birds have been sent for testing to establish whether avian flu is responsible.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has confirmed that it is investigating a suspected case of avian influenza in Berkshire.
The Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber said that a large number of Her Majesty’s swans have died
He said: “Bird flu has been going round the country and unfortunately it’s hit Windsor.
“There are many swans that have died in the flock at Windsor which is extremely disappointing.
“I know there is well over 20 that have gone, and probably 20 still dying at the moment. It’s quite a percentage.”
The Queen’s Swan Marker is responsible for carrying out the annual swan census. He is now monitoring the birds carefully and is trying to ensure the disease does not spread.
Royal biographer Penny Junor said: “The Queen will be profoundly upset about this.
“She is an animal lover and if they have bird flu it’s horrible.”
The Queen famously owns all unclaimed mute swans in open water in both England and Wales in a ceremonial fashion.
This has been a law since medieval times. Her ownership is shared with the Worshipful Company of Dyers, granted to them by the Crown in the 1400s.
You can read more about The Queen and her swans by clicking here.