Queen Elizabeth Swans
Credit: Getty Images [edited]

Most little kids dream of having a puppy or a kitten to call their own, but not Lyndsay Simpson. The precocious 5-year-old from Petersfield, England, wants something a bit grander than the usually fluffy pet. Instead, she wants a swan, and not just any swan: She wants one of the Queen’s swans.

When Simpson learned that the Queen of England owns all the swans in the United Kingdom (technically she co-owns all unmarked mute swans), she immediately wrote a personal letter to the Queen asking if she could have one.

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.”

To Simpson’s surprise, the palace replied to her request for one of the Queen’s swans.

“It was really sweet — all you heard from the lounge was ‘I’ve got a letter from the Queen’,” Simpson’s grandmother Carol Bax said. “It’s absolutely amazing that they took the time and trouble to write to a little girl of five. She was ecstatic. It was just charming. What it’s meant to that little girl – it will stay with her forever.”

The letter, 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 noted that the the Queen herself was encouraged to hear of Simpson’s keen interest in native wildlife. Beyond the letter the Queen additionally enclosed a booklet on royal swan upping to help Simpson continue her swan studies. For now, Simpson’s mother Jennifer told Metro that her daughter will simply have to settle for visiting a nearby pond where she regularly feeds the birds.