A boat tour of London's most famous river


LONDON (WTHR) — It's one of the most famous rivers in the world. The River Thames is more than 200 miles long and the home of some of the most important places in England.

The river has been England's lifeblood for more than 1,000 years and the Sunrise team got to experience it from the water.

Captain Steve Harris took Chuck Lofton on his boat, the Fringilla. They cruised past some of England's most desirable properties, with some of these waterfront homes going for millions of pounds.

They also experienced a very old and narrow lock and dam, which is still in use today.

Some of the buildings like a church they passed was built 1,000 years ago and still hosts weddings.

"I grew up on the river, my father still lives on the river, he is 82 now and he still lives on the river," Captain Harris said. "I'm one of 7 kids, and we grew up on the river and even though I left and joined up with a big American company, strange enough, after University. Eventually I gave it up, gave up my property and decided I was going to run boats."

Along the tour, the best of places to see was saved for last — Windsor Castle — swans included. While people choose to see Windsor by foot, the boat tour shows river-goers a different perspective of the well-known castle.

Atlas Obscura said the history of the Windsor swans date back almost a thousand years. In the 12th century, the monarchy passed a law saying all white "muted" swans in England belonged to the British Crown. Over the years, rights were given away but the law making the swans property of the crown are still technically the law of the land.

The law is usually just enforced on the River Thames around Windsor. The swans there are still viewed as property of the Queen. Every July, a ceremonial census of the swans called "Swan Upping" takes place to track the monarch's flock.

When passing by the swans of Windsor, it is tradition to toast to "Her Majesty the Queen, Seigneur of the Swans."

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