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Our little black book of enchanting places


London hotels fit for a queen by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O'Sullivan

It’s the HM The Queen’s birthday tomorrow. It’s probably safe to assume she will not be celebrating with a mini break or drinks at The Savoy, but hotels have played an important part in her family’s life over the years. It was, after all, while staying at a hotel – Treetops in Kenya - that a young Princess Elizabeth learned she had become queen. The following London hotels all have strong royal links.

The Ritz

The Ritz (above) – which has a Royal Warrant granted by Prince Charles – has hosted many royal parties over the years, including Princess Margaret’s last ever birthday party in 2000. Just across the park from Buckingham Palace, It was also where Prince Charles and the then Camilla Parker Bowles chose to make their first public appearance together in 1999. Prince Charles is said to be partial to a particular mutton dish served at The Ritz.The Goring

The only hotel with a Royal Warrant granted by the Queen, The Goring is where the Duchess of Cambridge spent the night before her wedding to Prince William in 2011. Practically on Buckingham Palace's doorstep (it's rumoured there used to a tunnel connecting the two buildings), it's always been something of a home-from-home for the royal family. When peace was declared in 1945, the King and Queen and their two little daughters came for lunch. It was a particular favourite with the Queen Mother (there’s a bronze bust of her in reception) and her beloved Eggs Drumkilbo is still on the menu. The Goring even baked Prince Charles’s christening cake.The Dorchester

The Dorchester, on Park Lane, clearly has a place in Prince Philip’s affections. He had his stag party here the night before his wedding in 1947 and has since been a regular guest of honour at private events and charity functions held at the hotel. When The Dorchester reopened in 1990, after a two-year closure, it was Prince Philip who unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.The Savoy 

Despite the fact that one of Edward VIII’s mistresses was prosecuted for murdering her husband at The Savoy (she was aquitted), the hotel has enjoyed a long association with the British royals. In the 1980s, its kitchen was the first hotel kitchen to be opened by the Queen Mother; and when it reopened after extensive refurbishment in 2010, it was Prince Charles who did the honours.Claridge's

During the Second World War, Claridge's was a refuge for Europe's exiled heads of state – suite 212 was famously declared Yugoslavian territory so that Crown Prince Alexander II could be born on Yugoslavian soil. Today, it's most strongly associated with the Queen’s nephew, Viscount Linley, who has designed 25 Linley Suites for the hotel (above). Claridge’s calls Linley ‘a long-time friend’ of the hotel, but it was his great-great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria who put the hotel on the map when, in 1860, she called on Empress Eugenie of France who was staying there.

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