The Queen in Richmond in 2012

Richmond: The Queen’s treasured location

The Queen had a special connection with the town of Richmond, which she visited last in 2012 as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

This was the Queen’s first official visit to the borough in 23 years and was a tribute to her 60 years on the throne at the time.

The ‘Wild London’ event was held on 15 May 2012 by Richmond Council and the Royal Parks to celebrate London’s woodlands, parks, gardens and open spaces.

Hundreds of people braved hail and a storm to be with the Queen on this momentous day.

Director of Children’s Services for Kingston and Richmond Councils, Ian Dodds, who organised The Wild London event, said: “What I do remember was the dreadful wet weather that we had before and during the event which resulted in a last-minute change to the Queen arriving in a Land Rover to cope with the wet grass and mud.” 

Richmond Park is one of ten royal parks that belong to the Queen by right of the crown.

The celebrations saw the Queen visit every region in the United Kingdom.

Dodds said: “There were four events in London over two days, each of which showcased different aspects of life in London that had special significance for the Queen.

“Richmond Park was chosen as it is London’s largest royal park, a national nature reserve, a special area for conservation and an important habitat for wildlife.”

The Queen and Prince Philip were given a tour of a wide range of displays that were relevant to the event’s theme.

They met sportsmen who use the park to train, groups of young people, allotment holders, environmental projects, market gardeners, horticulturists, conservation projects, artists, photographers, dog trainers, horse riders and more.

The tour culminated in a performance by pupils of the Royal Ballet School, which is located in the park, to reflect the theme.

The Queen and Prince Philip then visited Holly Lodge for a traditional afternoon tea served by the Ham and Petersham Women’s Institute.

Dodds said, about Richmond Park: “It also has special significance for The Queen as it was her childhood home.”

The Queen arrived to the event with the iconic Richmond brooch pinned to her bodice.

This reminds us of the long-history associated with the area and the nostalgia the town might have bought the Queen during her visit.

The brooch belonged to the Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary, who received it as a wedding present from the people of the town in 1893.

The Queen’s grandmother resided at White Lodge in Richmond Park for more than twenty years and Princess Alexandra who also attended the event, lives within Richmond Park in Thatched House Lodge.

The Queen was famously spotted wearing the brooch at her husband’s funeral.

As such, the brooch as well as Richmond remain a symbol of both family ties and marriage – something the Queen most prominently stood for throughout her reign.

Featured Image Credit: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

Related Articles