Remembering Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Updated: Sep 21, 2022
This week, I took a walk around the constituency to the various sites and locations in Richmond Park connected to Her Majesty the Queen. Our community has strong ties to the Royal Family that few people know about. From the Elizabeth Gate at Kew Gardens to the Richmond Riverside and the Bentall Centre in Kingston, if you know what you are looking for, you can see her Majesty’s presence everywhere across our little corner of London.
Richmond Park was Queen Elizabeth’s first home as a young child, and indeed, the constituency has played host to future kings and queens for more than a century. During this time of mourning, it was cheering to be able to spend time remembering how she touched all our lives here.
Watch the video of my journey finding our community's links to the Queen by clicking here.
As I mention in my video, the Queen visited the area many times, including several visits to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew. In addition to public events there, the Queen also came to Kew Gardens for a private dinner celebrating her 80th birthday.
The Queen visited Kew in 1959 to celebrate the Gardens' 200th anniversary. She opened the Queen's Garden of Kew Palace there in 1969 and came again in 1977 to view the extensive restoration of the Temperate House. In 2004 she returned to celebrate Kew Gardens being named a World Heritage Site.
In May 2009 the Queen was presented with a specially bred rose (a white-flowered English musk hybrid) to recognise her support for the gardens. The royal couple also planted two trees on that occasion to commemorate Kew Gardens' 250th anniversary.
Left to right: 1977 Restoration of the Temperate House, 1959 200th anniversary visit, 2004 Designation of Kew as a World Heritage Site. All photos @RBG, Kew.
In my video tour I also mentioned two other locations that were important to the Queen: The London Wetland Centre in Barnes and the Coronation Stone in Kingston.
The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames was granted royal borough status in 1927 by King George V in recognition of the seven Saxon kings crowned here in the 10th century. A thousand years later Her Majesty the Queen came to view the site where her predecessors were crowned - the Coronation Stone (below left.)