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Kingston University
Kingston University
Kingston upon Thames

Looking Back on Kingston-upon-Thames' Royal History!

With the Coronation only hours away at this point, I thought it'd be fun to look back on a little bit of Kingston-upon-Thames' royal history - after all, as the oldest Royal Borough in London, it has quite a bit!

The Coronation Stone
Although King Charles will be soon crowned at the famous Westminster Abbey, popular belief suggests that at least seven Anglo-Saxon kings - particularly King Athelstan (924AD) and King Eadred (946AD) - were crowned in Kingston, somewhere around the site where the stone currently stands outside the Guildhall (situated in the High Street). With the names of the seven kings inscribed into its sides, this ancient stone is an interesting landmark for any budding historians and is definitely worth looking over if you're ever in the area.

The Royal Borough
There are only three royal boroughs in London - and Kingston has by far held the title the longest! Shortly after the coronation of Athelstan in 924AD, Kingston was deemed a Royal Borough - and it would be nearly 1000 years until the next Royal Borough, Kensington and Chelsea, would join its ranks in 1901. More recently in 2010, Greenwich was also added due to its links with royalty in the Middle Ages, bringing the grand total up to three.

All Saints Church
Although the All Saints Church you see today was built around 1120 under the orders of Henry I, its history dates way back to 838, when King Egbert of Wessex held his great council on the site. The Church is also the only Grade I listed building in Kingston (a category which designates it as being of 'exceptional interest'), with it's parish bounds once stretching as far as Richmond and Molesey!

Richmond Park
Although not technically in the borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, this park's large size and proximity to the Kingston Hill campus definitely makes it a common hang-out spot for most of Kingston's residents regardless! As the largest of London's Royal Parks, Richmond Park is full of history - from being used in 1625 by Charles I for hunting deer to being closed off to the public in 1751 by King George II's daughter, Princess Amelia - and could serve as a great location for a potential picnic this weekend.

Coronation Parade
For anyone looking for a way to celebrate the Coronation this weekend, why not join Kingston's Coronation Parade on Sunday May 7th? Gathering in the Ancient Market Place at 2:45p.m., this parade will celebrate the coronation of King Charles III by reflecting on the crowning of King Athelstan and marching through the town with a Junk percussion band - before shortly being followed by a Church Fete with a bouncy castle and fairground rides on the grounds of All Saints.

Hope this provided you with a bit of insight about Kingston itself, and wishing you all well over the Bank Holiday Weekend. :smile:

- Eve (BA Fine Art and Art History).

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