Tag: Ptolemy

Black Swans Return to Chartwell

Black Swans Return to Chartwell


“All the black swans are mat­ing, not only the father and moth­er, but both broth­ers and both sis­ters have paired off. The Ptole­mys always did this and Cleopa­tra was the result. At any rate I have not thought it my duty to inter­fere.”  —Churchill to his wife, Chartwell, 21 Jan­u­ary 1935

Giles Palmer and Friends (Nation­al Trust)

Sev­en­ty-five years ago Lady Diana Coop­er observed that Chartwell’s birds “con­sist of five fool­ish geese, five furi­ous black swans, two rud­dy shel­drakes, two white swans—Mr. Juno and Mrs. Jupiter, so called because they got the sex­es wrong to begin with, two Cana­di­an geese (‘Lord and Lady Beaver­brook’) and some mis­cel­la­neous ducks.”

Chartwell’s black swans have been looked after as zeal­ous­ly as the apes on Gibral­tar, but over the years maraud­ing fox­es and mink had reduced the pop­u­la­tion, which reached zero last year.…

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