You could say that Jonathan and the royal family go way back. The 192-year-old tortoise, who lives in St. Helena, was first introduced to the late Queen Elizabeth all the way back in 1947. At that time, she was still a princess. Meanwhile, Jonathan was still a spry 116. In the years that followed, more and more of the British family would go on to meet this special tortoise, the latest being Prince Edward.
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One of the reasons why Jonathan is so special is because of his age. According to the St. Helena Government, he is believed to be the “oldest land animal in the world,” having been on the island for 142 years. Most Seychelles giant tortoises only live 150 years, making it all the more possible for this special moment between Prince Edward and the famed creature.
Prince Edward’s itinerary for his 2-day visit to the island was quite full. He attended events like the President’s Award Reception and met with members of the community to celebrate the area’s biodiversity and culture. One of the most special moments, though, has to be when he met Jonathan.
Prince Edward Meets Jonathan the Tortoise 77 Years After Queen Elizabeth
On social media, folks were quick to share side-by-side photos of both Prince Edward and his late mother, Queen Elizabeth, meeting the tortoise. It’s crazy to think that Jonathan has been around long enough to meet so many generations of the royal family!
“Despite his age, Jonathan lives an active life with his friends in the grounds of the Governor’s residence here on the island,” the St. Helena Government shares.
Prince Edward is the first member of his family to visit Jonathan since 2002. How cool would it be if William, Prince of Wales, were able to introduce one of his kids to the beloved tortoise!? In any case, it’s clear Jonathan will always hold a special place in the royal family’s hearts.
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