One of Europe’s most visibly history-laden capitals, London is home to a wealth of Grade II-listed buildings, centuries-old monuments and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In order to offer our guests an insider’s perspective on the extraordinary heritage of the British capital, Red Carnation Hotels’ London properties have partnered with Historic Royal Palaces, the charitable organisation that maintains London’s five royal estates.
Closest to one of our London properties is Kensington Palace, visible from the many serene suites of The Milestone Hotel, whose interiors have been specially designed to evoke those of their royal neighbour. Originally brought into the royal fold by King William and Queen Mary in the 18th century, the palace was famously the childhood home of Queen Victoria.
Further afield, the Tower of London is the capital’s oldest fortification, dating back almost a millennium. Its centrepiece, the “White Tower” was commissioned by none other than William the Conqueror, soon after his victory at Hastings. It has since become a symbol of the English crown in the capital, entrusted to worthy loyalists for centuries—and is, to this day, the resting place of England’s Crown Jewels, the most magnificent amongst them the Koh-i-Noor diamond.
Other sites covered by Historic Royal Palaces include Henry VIII’s opulent Tudor masterpiece, Hampton Court. The stage for the notorious monarch’s colourful personal life, it’s a stunning paragon of one of England’s most recognisable architectural styles. There’s also Kew Palace, the jewellery box royal residence at the fringes of the Royal Botanic Gardens that saw King George III’s famous madness, as well as Queen Elizabeth I’s Banqueting House, a short drive from The Rubens at the Palace.
Thanks to our collaboration, our London guests will benefit from members’ access to these expansive estates, which entitles them to behind-the-scenes, after-hours tours—even of the Crown Jewels—as well as access to exclusive exhibitions, private lectures and a host of other luxuries. Each of our London hotels holds two membership cards, which guests may borrow; The Egerton House Hotel has two pairs of cards and The Milestone three, so guests may enjoy the properties’ proximal locations to a number of Historic Royal Palaces.
What’s on show
Each palace hosts an array of special exhibitions and events throughout the year which leverage their unparalleled collections of royal memorabilia and artefacts. Providing a personal vignette into the private lives of England’s famous monarchs, the stories each palace shares are closer, more tangible and more compelling than even the dedicated displays of London’s finest museums; a must-see for anyone interested in the royal family.
The following months will see some of the Historic Royal Palaces’ most compelling expositions yet:
Throughout 2020, the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London is celebrating its 500-year anniversary through a series of lectures on its fascinating history. This atmospheric space has not only seen generations baptised and married but is the last resting place of a number of renowned personages, including Thomas Cromwell and three of Henry XIII’s wives – it has tales to tell.
In February and extending into March, Kensington Palace has partnered with theatre company Les Enfants to bring to the stage the ground-breaking, after-hours performance titled United Queendom, which depicts the intriguing drama between Queen Caroline and her husband’s choice consort, Henrietta Howard.
And in April, Kew Palace will mark the bicentennial of George III’s death, with an exhibition combining notes from the monarch’s doctors with his personal effects, in an effort to demystify his famed madness. Meanwhile, Hampton Court will mark the 500th anniversary of the three week-long “Field of Cloth of Gold”, an opulent meeting in Calais between Henry VIII and François I of France. The exhibition will reunite scattered Tudor treasures as well as premiere never-before-seen coterminous masterpieces.
Stay at any one of Red Carnation Hotels’ London properties to enjoy members’ access to the capital’s Historic Royal Palaces. Our concierge teams will happily let you know what’s on and recommend what to see.