SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Blanche, the beloved swan who lived at the Palace of Fine Arts for 30 years, has died, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced on Wednesday.
Blanche died on Thursday at her home in Sonoma County. She retired less than a year earlier after spending a lifetime living at the Palace of Fine Arts lagoon. Handlers were concerned about avian flu and lead in the soil nearby, so Blanche was moved to a country estate and reunited with her son Stanley. She had recently become widowed when her partner Blue Boy died in 2021, and caretakers say she flourished at the estate in the country.
Volunteer caretaker Gayle Hagerty has been caring for swans at the Palace for 30 years. She says that Blanche spent her last months living very well. “She was in a beautiful place where she was so happy and she ruled the roost…The other swans recognized her as a queen and never one day passed where she wasn’t appreciated and given love,” she said.
KRON On is streaming now
Blanche was born at the Palace of Fine arts in 1994 to parents Friday and Stella. The three enjoyed a good life before tragedy struck in 2010. Friday was stolen but later found at a private residence and rehomed. Later that same year, one of Blanche’s siblings, Monday, was found with her neck broken near discarded beer cans.
In 2011, Blue Boy came to the lagoon and quickly paired with Blanche. After Blue Boy died in 2021, Blanche was left as the only swan to grace the waters at the Palace.
Blanche inspired animal lovers and romantics at the Palace of Fine Arts for nearly three decades. Her beauty and grace rivaled that of the Palace itself, but it was her extraordinary personality that won over our visitors. She was a perfect ambassador.San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg
If you are hoping to honor Blanche’s memory, the SF Recreation and Park Dept. asks that in lieu of flowers, community members go outside and enjoy one of San Francisco’s great parks.