Kensington Palace and The Kensington Magazine co-host an ‘Historic’ Meet your Neighbour event

Within a couple of hours of the October edition of the magazine coming out all fifty places for this special occasion had been allocated.  A chance for local residents to meet each other in the splendid surroundings of Kensington Palace, experience a speedy history lesson on the inhabitants of the Palace over the years, and then take a private tour learning not only historical facts and figures, but equally fascinating historical anecdotes. This exclusive tour comprised The King’s State Apartments.

Residents were spellbound by the historic beauty and fascinating facts of each chamber. Upon entering the lavish room in which Queen Victoria was baptised, we learnt how the Duke of Kent struggled to name her before settling on the anglicised version of her mother’s, Victoire.  We also visited the room in which King George II was found dead by his ‘Gentleman of the Stool’ – an apparently highly regarded position at the time (think Horrible Histories’!)

There was something quite wonderful looking onto Kensington Gardens, past Queen Victoria’s Statue out onto the Round Pond. The night was beautifully clear and Autumnal and the grounds looked suitably regal.  For fifty residents this was a real occasion and a true treat. Credit must go to Gemma and David who between them could certainly apply for Mastermind in their specialist subject. Speed History!



Flannels4Heroes: Celebrity Chelsea Charity Cricket Match

Players, players friends and players friends of friends enjoyed a quintessientially English sort of day, watching cricket safe from the undercover of the Pavillion or the Marquee with intermiscent torrential rain or bright sunlight, sipping champagne or downing Pimms. The event sponsored by Kent & Curwen and supported by, amongst many, S J D Events, was the brainchild of Tim Brocklehurst, Mowbray Jackson and Eliza Cockerell. Monies from this years event is still being counted, but last year from tickets, the silent auction and auction (with some amazing prize) raised an incredible 150,000 pounds divided between Help for Heroes, Walking with the Wounded and Combat Stress – all charities involved in assisting those who have left the army and need help with facing life in ‘civvy street’ – physically or mentally.

Players  included Ben Goldsmith, Ed Parker (co-founder of Walking with the Wounded), Ed Smith (former England player), Isa Guhu (the only female player, whose 10 year career included a World Cup win in 2009), Tristan Gemmill (actor, Holby City), Jaco Van Gass (Wounded in Afghanistan and took part in HRH Prince Harry’s trip to the Pole, and this year attempted Mount Everest but had to turn back due to weather conditions), Min Patel (former Kent and England spinner) and Michael Vaughan (considered one of the best batsmen in the world following the 2002/2003 Ashes series).

A quintessential day at Burton Court in Chelsea but one which we hope raised enormous sums for these three charities, whose members having given limb or mind for their country, need our help.

Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com    www.flannels4heroes.co.uk

www.walkingwiththewounded.org.uk   www.helpforheroes.org.uk    www.combatstress.org.uk


HRH The Countess of Wessex Reviews the Chelsea Pensions at their Founder’s Day

HRH The Countess of Wessex reviewed 283 In-Pensioners at the Royal Hospital on Thursday. Clearly enjoying herself she spoke to many of those being reviewed, including Joe Britton who is approaching 101. The Hospital apparently has one of the “best Clubs” in Britain, provides support and respite to soldiers injured from fighting in Afghanistan, and throughout the year holds social events such as lectures, drinks parties and an annual carol service in the Wren chapel. It is well known that those lucky enough to live at Royal Hospital Road enjoy a full and active life with life expectancy of more than ten years of those living on their own. The ‘Scarlet Coats’ are very well recognised and honoured throughout the UK, with even one of the budget airlines giving them excellent and preferential service! The rain held off until the end of the ceremony when attendees (including those in Scarlet Coats) moved extremely fast to undercover  provided by the marquees to continue celebrating this very special day for them.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine


Miller of Kensington celebrate 25 years in Stratford Road

Mohamed el Banna, owner of Miller of Kensington celebrated being in Stratford Road for 25 years with a large street party. Young and old, all nationalities, residents and businesses joined in, danced, chatted or took photographs. The Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor Julie Mills popped along for an impromptu dance on the pavement, toddlers organised their own dance routine (of a fashion) and Eight Ray provided the music. It was a wonderful afternoon sponsored by local businesses, Kensington Design, Fait Maison, La Piccolo Dely, Chez Patrick, The Garden Basket, Minx and of course Mohamed whom we wish every success for another 25 great years in the neighborhood.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine



will.i.am in conversation with Paul Thompson of the Royal College of Art as part of Innovation Night 2012

Great excitement in the auditorium as we wait for will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas; a well known pop band from the mid 1990s, still playing now and Very Famous. What is probably not so well known is ‘Willy’s’ (as his Grandma and Mama refer to him) philanthropic interests. Not content with co-hosting the current TV series, ‘The Voice’, or going out with another major celeb, will.i.am spends a great deal of time and personal commitment to his ‘i’ foundations. For students, for the homeless and for the future of technology. Technology is another of his passions and he has a clear vision of how human’s have evolved to understand and connect with the technology that we face. His example of how a three year old in the 1970s might have moved their thumb and forefinger to achieve a bird opening its mouth in the shadows (and didn’t we all do that) to today’s three year old who would use the same movement to ‘zoom’ on a smart phone or smart t.v.

Not being particularly acquainted with pop stars, I was surprised at his grasp for ‘development’ and his genuine commitment to make lives better for others, particularly in the area where he grew up in America. His answering of questions were thought provoking, sometimes funny and sometimes hit with such realism that you wondered why no one else was talking about this, particularly from the technological perspective.

An inspiring evening and an inspired choice of guest. Well done to the RCA (and to the Royal Geographical Society for hosting the event) and to will.i.am. for coming over to London to ‘be in conversation with Paul Thompson for Innovation Night 2012′.  More of these please.


images and copyright: Lucy Elliott The Kensington Magazine (apologies for the quality but I was sitting right at the back of the auditorium with a large girl blocking the view)





Launch of singer/songwriter Sonya Titus at a Farewell Party for the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea

A private party was held for the Mayor, Councillor Julie Mills to thank her for her wonderful work as Mayor over the past year. Organised by local resident Annie Redmile and attended by very appreciative residents in the Borough, Julie was presented with a gift and flowers. To mark the occasion and somewhat appropriately, just as we say farewell to Julie, we welcomed Sonya Titus a resident of Kensington who is embarking on her career as a singer/songwriter. Accompanied by her guitar and teacher, she played two of her songs in public for the very first time. It seemed incongrous to the usual events held in the Mayor’s Parlour, but it was a lovely change, and Sonya’s voice was reminiscent of Joan Boaz. Another number was played to illustrate how it would sound with the proper backing, and then to the amusement of all in the room, a well known song was played during which some sponteneous dancing took place. (I don’t think this will happen under the next Mayor).  To complete the soiree, Sonya’s father generously presented the Mayor with a cheque for her chosen charity of the year. We have high hopes for Sonya, so watch this space!


Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott The Kensington Magazine

Kensington in the Spring

Well a couple of weeks later, and Kensington is in full bloom. Absolutely stunning. These were taken in the afternoon around Kensington Gardens, The Albert Memorial, Kensington High St. and St Mary Abbots Church.

Images: Lucy Elliott

Copyright:  The Kensington Magazine