Famous Hampstead Heath love swan Mrs Newbie dies
- Credit: Ron Vester
The celebrated Hampstead Heath swan whose love story captured the hearts of north London has died.
Mrs Newbie passed away on Friday (October 15) after a rescue mission by the Swan Sanctuary saw her die in transit. Swan experts have put her death down to natural causes.
A candle was lit in tribute to Mrs Newbie on Friday night and flowers were laid.
The queen of Highgate No. 1 pond, thought to have been at least 13 years old, became a figure of inspiration after rekindling love against the odds.
In 2016 her previous partner Mr Newbie died in a tragic accident after he flew into a block of flats near the ponds.
Heartbroken, the widow spurned the advances of suitors until a new partner, Wallace, entered the scene last year. The pair enjoyed a lockdown romance which led to two broods.
Mrs Newbie leaves behind four cygnets with Wallace, and Ron Vester photographed what is believed to be the last picture of the family together.
"She clambered onto a raft and summoned the family, perhaps to say goodbye. It was heartbreaking to watch,” Ron said.
“Later she swam very slowly to the feeding station where I stood with my camera and paused in front of me and stared. The following morning she quietly died.
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“She will be missed. There will be tears for this lovely swan.”
Ron added: “Mrs Newbie was a friend of mine. After ten years of dazzling adventures, sweet and sad, the Highgate swan has passed on.”
Of the late pen, who suffered a dog attack last year, Gill Walker, a rescuer for the Swan Sanctuary, said: “Any swan death is very sad and especially Mrs Newbie who has had quite a lot of tragedy in her life.
“But at least the good news is that she didn't die of a broken heart on her own.
“She's had Wallace with her for the last couple of years and she's raised two further broods of fabulous cygnets so we have to be positive and be pleased that she died happy.”
Gill added: “People will be worried that Wallace won't cope but he is stepping up.
“He is already giving the cygnets flying practice and he's perfectly capable of looking after them so they're in safe hands.”
Mrs Newbie and Wallace's love story inspired a children’s book by Dee McLean and Louisa Green – There’s Something About Wallace: Lockdown Love on Hampstead Heath.