As one of the oldest cities in the world, what do you need to see when staying in London?

External shot of Kensington Palace, LondonThere are very few exceptions to the argument that London is the best place to visit if you have a love for history. We can maybe look to places such as Athens in Greece, Istanbul in Turkey or Beijing in China, but London is without doubt up there competing against them.

Now those three cities – and several others – have history that extends beyond London’s by some stretch. By comparison, London is relatively new, having been settled in around AD 47 as the Roman Londinium. But it’s the fact it’s younger than some of the others that make it so appealing to history fans – it may be nearly 2,000 years old, but its entire history can be tracked with considerable accuracy.

So with this in mind, if you’re visiting London and are a lover of all things historical, where do you need to visit? What do you need to see? What will truly open your eyes to the sheer awe-inspiring stories of London’s past? Continue reading “As one of the oldest cities in the world, what do you need to see when staying in London?”

Getting ready for Royal Ascot? Come and stay with us at DUKES LONDON!

The Queen's procession at Royal AscotIn a few short days Royal Ascot 2018 will be upon us. One of the most famed and favourable events on the horse racing calendar, it’s no real surprise that it’s such a popular event – not only do its roots stretch back to the early 18th century when it was founded by Queen Anne, but it’s still attended by often a large number of our Royal family today (including the Queen herself, who is known to be particularly fond of the occasion).

Being also one of the most valuable meetings in the horseracing calendar, over £7 million is available during the period of Royal Ascot in prize money. Spread over 18 races, it’s undoubtedly one of the most attractive for competitors, but similarly, one of the most competitive.

Continue reading “Getting ready for Royal Ascot? Come and stay with us at DUKES LONDON!”

The Queen’s birthday parade – a Royal reason to stay in London

The Palace Guards at Buckingham PalaceDid you know that each and every year, the Queen celebrates two birthdays?

And it is soon to be one of them – on the 14th June (at the time of writing), the Queen will celebrate her official birthday, even though her ‘actual’ birthday is on the 21st April.

Interestingly, her official birthday doesn’t have a fixed date (hence our ‘at the time of writing’ comment above!), but it is always a Saturday in June, so that there is good weather (hopefully!) for an outdoor event. Continue reading “The Queen’s birthday parade – a Royal reason to stay in London”

Fashion Rules at Kensington Palace: a truly royal outfit

Princess Diana dancing with John TravoltaThis year, the picturesque Kensington Palace has added an exciting new collection to its existing exhibitions.  ‘Fashion Rules’ is a beautiful display of regal, designer dresses worn by Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales throughout the years.

The exhibition follows the evolution of royal fashion starting from the Queen’s glamorous engagement dresses of the 50s right up to the brightly-coloured ball gowns worn by Princess Diana in the 80s.

The entire range of designer dresses is displayed alongside film and photography from the period to set the scene of fashion trends at the time. Vogue covers adorn the walls alongside the 21 never-seen-before dresses showing how the outfits reflected the trends of the moment; being both fashionable and suitable for royal attire.  A firm favourite among visitors is the stunning red gown worn by Princess Diana in Saudi Arabia in 1986.

Whether fashionista, royalist or historian, this exhibition, named “the most interesting, elegant exhibition of Kensington Palace” has much to offer all audiences by giving an interesting and engaging insight into the history of royal fashion over the past 60 years.

A brilliant exhibition, after absorbing the art and culture, come and relax in DUKES London: enjoy our afternoon tea, a three course meal or simply a ‘James Bond’ martini in our bar!

The details: the summer opening of Buckingham Palace 2013

An external, front-facing shot of Buckingham Palace, LondonThis summer you can explore the royal grounds of Buckingham Palace. You can take the opportunity to see some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, as well as The Queen’s Coronation 1953 exhibition, featuring royal dresses, uniforms and jewellery!

You may already know that this summer marked the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation in 1953. To celebrate this special occasion the palace’s ballroom will be transformed into the largest exhibition that has taken place for this particular occasion since the day of the Coronation in June 1953.

The centrepiece is The Queen’s white satin coronation dress, designed by Norman Hartnell, and the English purple silk robe worn by The Queen on the day of her coronation, which took more than 3,500 hours to complete and is more than 6.5 metres long.

Guests will be able to appreciate close-up the Diamond Diadem, one of The Queen’s most recognisable jewels, which she is pictured wearing on postage stamps and some banknotes.

For more information on ticket prices and details of the event please click here.

Enjoy afternoon tea at DUKES after your visit to Buckingham Palace, as we’re one of the closest hotels to the Palace – just a short five minute stroll across Green Park.

Image courtesy of Michael Reeve