Glimpse history through old images of Kensington Palace, London, and bygone events at the nearby Kensington Palace Hotel.
Kensington Palace Field 1928
The boxer Alf Macini appeared at an outside boxing ring in Kensington Palace field, as part of a promotional sporting event.
Also appearing were members of the Bodokwait, demonstrating their Judo (advanced ju-jitsu).
Boxer Alf Mancini and judo experts give demonstration at Kensington Palace Field (1928) – British Pathé on YouTube
Leather Fair 1955
Kensington Palace Hotel hosted a fair for the leather industry in 1955.
Highlights included a handbag made from the skin of an elephant’s ear, a lightweight suitcase for the weaker sex, a a set of alcohol flasks disguised as a collection of books, and a lady’s handbag made to look like a collection of books ‘to impress quite a few young men’.
Leather Fair (1955) – British Pathé on YouTube
Hotel Meal 1958
In 1958, Egon Ronay assembled a group of international chefs, flew them from the Brussels Exposition to London Airport, and had them prepare a multi course meal in the kitchens of the Kensington Palace Hotel. Each chef would prepare one course based on their national cuisine.
In the dining room, the specially invited diners included the Duke of Bedford, actors Muriel Pavlow and Peter Finch, as well as the oilman Mr. Nubar Gulbenkian.
Mr Bates, director of Kensington Palace Hotel presented a bottle of whisky and a beef-eater statuette to the American chief Alec Pimienta for the Clam Chowder.
Burp Aka International Gastronomic Luncheon At The Kensington Palace Hotel (1958) – British Pathé on YouTube
Princess Margaret’s 1960s Home
In 1960, Princess Margaret moved into her new home at Kensington Palace.
Kensington Palace (1960) – British Pathé on YouTube
Princess Margaret’s Proposed New Residence (1961) – British Pathé on YouTube
Royal Baptism 1964
Lady Sarah Armstong-Jones, now Lady Sarah Chatto, was born at Kensington Palace on 1st May 1964.
Then when Lady Sarah was baptised at the age of two months, she appeared for the cameras along with her mother Princess Margaret, her father Lord Snowdon, and her brother Viscount Linley, who was 2 years 8 months old at the time.
Princess’s Daughter Baptised (1964) – British Pathé on YouTube
Extract from “Old and new London: a narrative of its history, its people and its places” by George Walter Thornbury and Edward Walford
Published in 1880
As in France , so also in England , nearly all the
palaces of royalty are located outside the city .
Greenwich , Eltham , Hatfield , Theobalds , Nonsuch ,
Enfield , Havering – atte – Bower , Oatlands , Hampton
Court , Kew , Richmond , all in turn , as well as Ken
sington , have been chosen as residences for our
sovereigns . Kensington Palace , though actually
situated in the parish of St. Margaret , Westminster ,
is named from the adjoining town , to which it would
more naturally seem to belong , and it stands in
grounds about 350 acres in extent .
Palace Gate House , a spacious mansion , with
ornamental elevation , standing on the north side
of the High Street , near the entrance to the
Palace , was long the residence of the late Mr.
John Forster , the historian , biographer , and critic ,
and the friend of Charles Dickens . A broad road
way , leading from the High Street of Kensington
to the Bayswater Road , and known as Kensington
Palace Gardens , contains several costly mansions ,
including one of German – Gothic design , built for
the Earl of Harrington in 1852 .
In the High Street , close by the entrance to the
Palace , is the ” King’s Arms ” Tavern , at which
Addison was a frequent visitor , when he took up
his abode in his adopted home at Holland House
as the husband of Lady Warwick .
On the west side of Palace Green , in what was
formerly called the King’s Garden , Henry VIII . is
said to have built a conduit , or bath , for the use of
the Princess Elizabeth , when a child . It was a
low building , with walls of great thickness , and the
roof covered with bricks . The interior was in
good preservation when Faulkner wrote his ” His
tory of Kensington , ” and afforded a favourable
specimen of the brickwork of the period .
It is clear , from an entry in the parish
books , though unnoticed by Faulkner , that
Queen Elizabeth , at least on one occasion
subsequent to her childhood , stayed within
the parish , for the parish officers are rebuked
and punished for not ringing ” when Her
Majesty left Kensington . ” Probably this
entry refers to some visit which she paid to Holland
House , where no doubt she was entertained as a
guest by the then owner , the old Earl of Holland ,
or by Sir Walter Cope , who built the original
On Palace Green are the barracks for
foot – soldiers , who still regularly mount guard at the
Palace . The Green , called in ancient documents
the ” Moor , ” was the military parade when the
Court resided here , and the royal standard was
hoisted on it daily .”