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HRH Prince Michael of Kent Reviews the Chelsea Pensioners at Founder’s Day 2018

HRH Prince Michael of Kent reviewed the Chelsea Pensioners today at Royal Hospital Road. The pensioners resplendent in their scarlet coats tapped their hands and feet to the music of the Coldstream Guards, and proudly smiled when introduced to his Highness. Also present were his wife, HRH Princess Michael of Kent and the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Cllr. Marie-Therese Rossi. In his replying speech, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw KCB OBE announced his pleasure at taking over as Governor of Royal Hospital Road.

Images and copyright:  www.lucyelliottphotography.com

Out of Kensington: Hartwell Hotel & Spa

Sitting in 90 acres of sweeping fields, landscaped gardens, ha ha’s and a lake is the beautiful Hartwell House – an Historic House Hotel, one of only three in the UK, owned by the National Trust.

Just an hours car journey from London this historic house, built in the seventeenth century, now provides a true respite from the rush of London life. In the past carriages would have bought you to the huge wooden front door via the mile long avenue of Lime trees. Today you approach via a sweeping drive to be met by a statue of Frederick, Prince of Wales. The door opens and you are immediately in the Jacobean Great Hall – where high ceilings, works of art, antiques, traditional furnishings and a large wood burning fire place greet you.

Over the years, various architectural additions have been made resulting in architectural styles such as Jacobean, Gothic revival, Victorian and Georgian interiors. The gardens, in the style of Capability Brown, have also received various designs. As an example, and in addition to the ha ha’s, there are statues, gazeebos, follies – and the mid-section of the bridge originally formed part of Kew Bridge.

Leading to the rooms in the main house is a fine example of a Jacobean staircase complete with statues. Rooms are large with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the countryside and gardens. Our room, The Queen’s Bedroom comes complete with four poster bed, his and hers walk-in wardrobe, floor to ceiling windows, artwork, antiques, multiple sofas and armchairs. This room originally belonged to Queen Josephine when she and King Louis where exciled from France and lived at Hartwell House from 1809 – 1814.

Hartwell House is clearly a popular destination for both residents and non-residents – many were enjoying formal Afternoon Tea, and the restaurant at dinner was full with couples, groups and those attending a corporate event. Chef Daniel Richardson is locally known as the chef who bought Aylesbury Duck back on the menu – traditionally quite a difficult bird to cook and one which takes skill, especially as it is quite a fatty bird. Sadly, not being in season on our visit, we were still able to chose from an extensive menu: Pan friend scallops with apple and fennel salad, accompanied by cauliflower and lime leaves; Veloute and pan friend fillet of Hallibut with crushed potatoes, artichokes, saute leeks and crab sauce or Beetroot macaroon with goats cheese mouse as examples. Deserts were equally exotically named.

Walking around the grounds on a beautiful Autumn’s afternoon is a real treat. If walking does not give you enough excerise, there are tennis courts and a croquet lawn. The converted former stables provide elegant space for a gymnasium, large swimming pool, together with sauna, spa and beauty rooms. Again non-residents are very welcome with day spa packages being popular and a smart cafe/restaurant is on-site overlooking the pool area.

Hartwell House is well situated being close to London and Oxford and is ideal for overnight or longer stays, combining with other attractions in the area. It provides a relaxing break from London in old traditional surroundings, comfortable and classy with no bling in sight!
Lucy and Stephen were guests of Hartwell House

Hartwell House Hotel & Spa, Oxford Road, Nr Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP17 8NR
www.hartwell-house.com 01296 747444

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Images: Copyright:  Lucy Elliott www.lucyelliottphotography.com

First World War Commemoration: The Great War Centenary Parade with HRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent at Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea

Royal Hospital Chelsea marked this occasion with a rather spectacular ‘The Great War Centenary Parade’ where 40 Edwardian cars were driven by their owners and accompanied by Chelsea Pensioners, whose predecessors had fought in the War, from the Hospital to the Imperial War Museum. The event was organised by Nicholas Pellett whose grandfather was killed in the first World War and was held in the presence of HRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Image and copyright: Lucy Elliott www.lucyelliottphotography.com

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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!

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HRH Prince Michael of Kent unveils memorial to Colonel Carlos at Royal Hospital Road

Some 90 descendants of Colonel William Carlos attended this event, of all ages, together with representatives from Royal Hospital Road. Carlos was credited with saving King Charles II by hiding him in the Boscobel Oak whilst Cromwell’s army were searching for him. King Charles II is recognised as the founder of Royal Hospital Chelsea, when in 1681 he issued a Royal Warrant for its foundation. Each Founder’s Day, as it was today, the statue is covered with oak leaves to remind us of his escape after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The text of the King’s 1658 Grant of Arms to Colonel Carlos makes clear the King’s conviction that the Colonel’s actions at Boscobel were the main reason for his own, and thus the Royal Family’s, survival.

From an anthropological perspective it was lovely to see 90 people introducing each other to other parts of this extended family and find out exactly how they were related.  Congratulations must go to John Doble (descendant) who organised much of today’s event.

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To see more images from this event, please go to:  http://clients.lucyelliottphotography.com/v/photos/80298twf

Images and Copyright:  Lucy Elliott / Lucy Elliott Photography

 

 

Jaime Winstone sits for sculpture

Jaime Winstone, the young actress who already has several films to her name (e.g. Kiduldhood, Bullet Boy, Totally Frank and Goldplated),  sat at the Calken Gallery to pose for Royal Academy-trained and Landsdeer Prize-winning sculptor, Michael Talbot.  In addition to Jaime, Sir Malcolm Rifkind has already ‘sat’, and there will be others in the near future, culminating in an exhibition at the Calken Gallery later this year.  Jaime  clearly enjoying the session made a model sitter.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott www.lucyelliottphotography.com
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Sir Trevor Macdonald charms local residents at a Charity Event in Kensington

Sir Trevor Maconald recently opened the ‘Curtain’s Up’ Charity Event in Kensington.  Delighting residents he happily posed with them and spent time chatting with actors and stallholders alike.  Actors from Bad Girls, Casualty, Sharpe, Coronation Street and others all took part in this event, raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society and SANDS (Stillborn and Neonatal Death Charity).  Sir Trevor gave a moving speech, and later in the day Susan Hampshire drew the raffle.  Refreshments were prepared by Master Chef Semi-Finalist Julia Gray.  The event was an opportunity for actors to donate their collectables with stalls offering handbags, crafts, jewellery and clothes.  The event raised £900 for the Alzheimer’s Society and £400 for SANDS.  Congratulations to the organisers and those who took part in the day’s event.

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www.curtainupevents.co.uk

 

The Kensington Readers’ Cup Challenge – held at Thomas’s London Day School, Kensington and sponsored by Waterstones

In my role as a journalist I come across some gems. One such gem was to attend the first ever ‘Kensington Readers’ Cup Challenge’, aka Junior (well very) ‘University Challenge’. With the lighting set to dim in the auditorium, four sets of three children sat at desks, with flourescent red buzzers to frantically press, a screen behind which flashed up with the name of their school every time they answered a question correctly, accompanied by rousing music.

So the scene was set. Bright eyed, excited but composed children from Fox, Colville, St Mary Abbots and St Thomas’ prepared for their first experience of a public competition. Questions were set to Roald Dahl’s The BFG, Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Cosmic and Anne Holm’s I am David. For the General Knowledge section questions were set to books of the Victorian era – quite a challenge when you are only ten or eleven! Audience participation was expected too and correct answers were enthusiastically rewarded with a sweet thrown to the appropriate child (or sometimes an eager adult).

The compere, judge and adjudicator (staff from Thomas’s London Day School, Kensington) were suitably dressed for the occasion in tuxedo and were so professional and at ease in their roles that I assumed an outside company had been bought in for the purpose. Mr Corey (the Latin teacher) with just as serious approach to the task as Jeremy Paxman (albeit with a twinkle in his eye) was barely allowed to draw breath in his question before a child would interrupt with a beam (and usually accompanied by a reflex hand shot in the air) with the correct answer – followed by high 5’s all round from the children.

The prize, a large cup was won by Fox Primary School after a nail biting tie with St Mary Abbots. Michael Korel, Events Manager at Waterstones Kensington, accompanied by Laura Malkin of the Thomas’s Schools Foundation (TSF) presented the prizes which included vouchers to spend at Waterstones for the school library.  It was an hour of pure fun, and credit must go to Lida Cepuch of TSF for masterminding (excuse the pun) the event, the Headmistress for encouraging it, and the staff and children who so gamely took part.

Afterwards, one little girl in the audience, declared to her mother when she was older (in three years time) she wanted to take part in the Kensington Readers’ Cup Challenge. Tremendous!

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Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott The Kensington Magazine

 

‘Meet your Neighbour’ Event at The Milestone Hotel

For some years now The Kensington Magazine and The Milestone Hotel have collaborated to hold a ‘Meet your Neighbour’ event where local residents have an opportunity to meet each other. It must be the only event where people can walk up to each other and ask ‘so where do you live’ and its not a chat up line! This event is extremely popular and shows no signs of abating. A wondeful opportunity and the only one of its kind in Kensington.

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Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott The Kensington Magazine

 

Snowy scenes in Kensington

Lovely morning! Somewhat slushy pavements, but get to Kensington Gardens and it looked like ‘Little Switzerland’ as myGrandmother would say.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/ The Kensington Magazine
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