History

The area around Kensington and Chelsea is rich in history, and I can spend hours weaving the tales of the past that make this borough so colourful and alive. It’s great fun to entertain the guests at the hotel in Kensington with the unusual fact and historical nuggets that I’ve picked up over the years. Here I have collected some of the best to share with you.

Dec
17
The work we posted is a derivative of "Mill" (http://goo.gl/QXNM4H) by openDemocracy (http://goo.gl/SYundv), used under CC BY 4.0. "Mill" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by F&L Designer Guides.

Our Hotel in Kensington and John Stuart Mill

Posted by Oliver, on 17 Dec 2014, in History
The work we posted is a derivative of "Mill" (http://goo.gl/QXNM4H) by openDemocracy (http://goo.gl/SYundv), used under CC BY 4.0. "Mill" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by F&L Designer Guides.

The work we posted is a derivative of “Mill” by openDemocracy, used under CC BY 4.0. “Mill” is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by F&L Designer Guides.

Our Hotel in Kensington is close to the birth and workplaces of many famous sons and daughters of Kensington but few inspire me as much as John Stuart Mill (1806-73). The son of a Scottish philosopher, he was born and lived right here in Kensington.

J.S. Mill was a philosopher but before you perhaps think this is going to be a ‘dusty treatise’ let me say why he is so important. (more…)

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Nov
25
"Detail of Statue of Queen Victoria Outside of Kensington Palace" (http://goo.gl/1cWp6B) by Daniel X. O'Neil (http://goo.gl/3dkULr) is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Our Hotel in Kensington and Queen Victoria

Posted by Oliver, on 25 Nov 2014, in History

No, as far as I know, Queen Victoria never stayed in the building that became our hotel in Kensington.

Yet what I do know is that she was born very close to us in Kensington Palace on 24th May 1819. So, she was a ‘local girl’!

What made her so famous? (more…)

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Oct
30
This work is a derivative of "London - Cabinet War Rooms - 1 (Postcard)" (http://goo.gl/vuQzmk) by Roger Wollstadt (http://goo.gl/TWXlcp), used under CC BY 4.0. "London - Cabinet War Rooms - 1 (Postcard)" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by [Regency Hotel].

Our Hotel in Kensington and World War II

Posted by Oliver, on 30 Oct 2014, in History

This work is a derivative of "London - Cabinet War Rooms - 1 (Postcard)" (http://goo.gl/vuQzmk) by Roger Wollstadt (http://goo.gl/TWXlcp), used under CC BY 4.0. "London - Cabinet War Rooms - 1 (Postcard)" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by [The Client’s Name].

This work is a derivative of “London – Cabinet War Rooms – 1 (Postcard)” by Roger Wollstadt, used under CC BY 4.0. “London – Cabinet War Rooms – 1 (Postcard)” is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by [Regency Hotel].

As we remember the 100th anniversary of the First World War, I suppose it’s inevitable that some guests at our hotel in Kensington become interested in my home borough’s experiences during the bombing of the Second World War.

In fact, one sweet little child-guest asked me not too long ago if I could remember the war. I must admit, I looked at my face very closely in the mirror shortly afterwards! (more…)

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Sep
24
This work is a derivative of "Kensington Palace 肯辛頓宮" (http://goo.gl/7uDj9W) by Ann Lee (http://goo.gl/WjnWrz), used under CC BY 4.0. "Kensington Palace 肯辛頓宮" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by [Regency Hotel]

A Kensington Hotel – What’s in a Name?

Posted by Oliver, on 24 Sep 2014, in History

This work is a derivative of "Kensington Palace 肯辛頓宮" (http://goo.gl/7uDj9W) by Ann Lee (http://goo.gl/WjnWrz), used under CC BY 4.0. "Kensington Palace 肯辛頓宮" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by [Regency Hotel]

This work is a derivative of “Kensington Palace 肯辛頓宮” by Ann Lee, used under CC BY 4.0. “Kensington Palace 肯辛頓宮” is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by [Regency Hotel]

I’m fascinated by local place names – even that of our Kensington hotel.

So are many of our guests and I can recommend many local historical tours that can take you back millennia to Roman, Anglo-Saxon or Mediaeval London.

Take our local borough for example – ‘Kensington’. (more…)

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Apr
23
View of Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace: A Hub of History In The Heart of London!

Posted by Oliver, on 23 Apr 2014, in History
View of Kensington Palace

‘Kensington Palace’ (c) 2014 longplay. Used under a Creative Commons license (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode).

One of the things myself and my colleagues working at other Kensington hotels share in common – and often talk about – is the need to constantly find new locations and activities to recommend to tourists visiting the area. If you are a Londoner, you will know what I am talking about – of course you are going to tell someone to visit the London Eye and Westminster Abbey, but what if they have already done that? Then what should you recommend for them to do? (more…)

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Dec
06
Famous Kensington Figures

Walking in the Footsteps of Kensington History

Posted by Oliver, on 06 Dec 2013, in History
‘Virginia Woolf’, © 2008 Diane10981, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Virginia Woolf’, © 2008 Diane10981, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

I’ve lived in Kensington my whole life, and I love being reminded of the amazing cultural figures who used to walk the same streets as I do. When I walk down Queen’s Gate every morning on the way to work, I think about all my heroes who spent their childhoods here. Some of them near Kensington hotels, in London! (more…)

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Oct
27
Princess Margaret1

The Glamour of Princess Margaret

Posted by Oliver, on 27 Oct 2013, in History
‘Papa Bird & Princess Margaret 2, © 2010 IPP ON UPP, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Papa Bird & Princess Margaret 2, © 2010 IPP ON UPP, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Hello again!

Today on of my guests at the Regency Hotel asked me about our Queen Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret, so I decided to give all of my online friends a little history about one of the most fashionable women in the history of the British monarchy who lived in Kensington Palace No. 1. (more…)

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Oct
22
Victoria Awakes

Victoria Awakes at Kensington Palace

Posted by Oliver, on 22 Oct 2013, in History
‘Kensington Palace, © 2012 David Stanley, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Kensington Palace, © 2012 David Stanley, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Sometimes it’s amazing to think how one morning can change the course of history. Kensington has had so many historic moments that it boggles the mind – so many influential people have stayed in the Regency – one of the more prominent Kensington hotels in London – that I wonder if I’ve witnessed one myself! In the case of the Kensington Palace, its walls have seen more of Great Britain’s history than most places in the world. (more…)

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Sep
05
Chelsea Pensioners are not History

Chelsea Pensioners Are Not History

Posted by Oliver, on 05 Sep 2013, in History
‘A group of Chelsea Pensioners are shown waiting for the arrival of Her Majesty the Queen and High Royal Highness The Princess Royal.’, © 2004 armedforcesdayuk, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘A group of Chelsea Pensioners are shown waiting for the arrival of Her Majesty the Queen and High Royal Highness The Princess Royal.’, © 2004 armedforcesdayuk, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

For as long as I can remember, the Chelsea Pensioners have been making a bright red impression on my life in Kensington. Whenever they leave their home at the Royal Hospital to parade around Chelsea, their scarlet robes and shining badges remind me of my country’s role in some of history’s most storied events. (more…)

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