Lakeland’s signature swans are a legacy from the early days of the reign of England’s Queen Elizabeth II, who died Thursday at age 96. After an earlier swan population dwindled, a local couple living in England appealed to the queen in 1956 for a pair from her flock. She gifted the swans, with local residents raising $300 for the expenses to catch and ship the birds. “Because of Queen Elizabeth, we have that iconic swan here and we are paired with the Queen because of those swans,” city of Lakeland communications director Kevin Cook told News Channel 8.

SEND CORRECTIONS, questions, feedback or news tips:


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.