Alternative royal London
Home to the most famous royal family in the world, London doesn’t disappoint when it comes to pomp and circumstance. From the unrivalled pageantry of royal weddings and jubilees to the daily massing of ‘busbies’ at the Changing of the Guard, royal events draw crowds throughout the year.
But royal legacy is also littered all over everyday London in its parks and monuments, theatres and museums, even its street and pub names.
DK Travel suggest 10 less obvious ways to experience Royal London:
1) Queen Anne’s Gate
A delightful small Westminster street with a statue of the queen who gave her name to a style of furniture.
2) The Old Vic, The Cut
In 1833 the former Royal Coburg Theatre was renamed the Royal Victoria in honour of the future queen. The handsome Georgian facade has changed little since 1816.
3) Princess of Wales Pub
Several London pubs changed their name to remember Diana, Princess of Wales. The Princess of Wales pub in Blackheath however, served as changing room for the first ever England v Wales rugby international that was played on the heath in 1881.
4) Albert Bridge, West London
Perhaps not the grandest of Prince Albert¹s London legacies, but probably the prettiest. Painted in pink and lit by 4,000 bulbs at night the bridge re-opened in Dec 2011 after extensive renovations.
5) Duke of York Steps
A statue of the ‘Grand Old Duke of York’ subject of the nursery rhyme is elevated above these steps off Pall Mall.
6) Queen’s Chapel, Marlborough Road
This exquisite work of architect Inigo Jones was built for Charles I’s wife Henrietta Maria in 1627. The interior of the chapel, with it’s wonderful Annibale Carraci altarpiece and glorious 17th-century fittings is open to regular worshippers and visitors during the spring and early summer.
7) Victoria Gate Pet Cemetery
Hidden in a corner of Hyde Park over 300 beloved Victorian pets lie under diminutive gravestones in this cemetery founded in 1880 by George, Duke of Cambridge after his wife¹s favourite dog Prince was run over.
Bushy Park, Hampton
The least obvious of the Royal Parks, Bushy is at its best in spring when the trees on Chestnut Avenue are in blossom. During the First and Second World Wars areas of the park were given over to ‘Dig for Victory’ fruit and veg production.
9) Grosvenor Square, Mayfair
The hub of high society from the early 18th century until World War II, Grosvenor Square is the only London square that is owned by the Crown. On the west side stands the imposing American Embassy.
10) Ede & Ravenscroft, Chancery Lane
The tailors and robe makers of choice for twelve coronations and official robe maker to the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles. Peruse their collection of classy ties and perfect your Windsor Knot, the wide tie knot given to the world by the stylish Duke of Windsor.
DK publishes a host of London guides including DK Family Guide London (print & ebook), DK Eyewitness London (print & app) and Top Ten London (print, ebook & app), as well as ebooks Royal London and Multi-Touch London City Guide. See: www.traveldk.com