Bath has seen many members of Royalty pass through it over the centuries. The first King of England, Edgar, was crowned in Bath Abbey; Queen Elizabeth I gave permission and money for the Abbey to be rebuilt after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, after seeing its beauty on one of her royal progresses; Princess Anne, later Queen Anne visited to bathe in and take the waters, and it was her patronage that led to the increase in fashionable visitors to the city that assisted in its growth as a leisure resort.
There are streets and buildings named after Kings and Queens in the city who visited once upon a time – from Queen Square to King Edwards School. Princes and Princesses, Lords and Ladies from here and abroad have graced these streets, right up to the present day.
Our current Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, last visited the city in 1973; but members of the Royal family have visited the city more recently, earlier this year the Queen’s grandson, Prince Harry, attended a memorial service at the Abbey. And on June 20th the Queen’s eldest child, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, will be here to help celebrate 40 years of Dorothy House Hospice Care.
It may not have escaped you, but we ourselves are named after a royal – Queen Victoria in fact. The Royal Hotel was built during her reign, in 1846; and although Victoria only visited the city when she was a Princess, her memory lives on, including in the name of our hotel. Queen Victoria was, when she died in 1901, the longest reigning monarch in British history. However, our present Queen has surpassed her ancestor’s achievement and last year (on 9 September 2015) Queen Elizabeth II became the longest serving British monarch, and has to date reigned for 64 years and 120 days.
The Queen has also celebrated another milestone this year – on April 21st 2016 she turned 90 years old. It is traditional (since 1748) for the monarch to have an official birthday as well as their actual birthday, and so the Queen celebrates her official birthday this coming Sunday – 12th June 2016. And in celebration of this great achievement there are parties and gatherings all over the country, including here in Bath!
It was decided by her grandson, Peter Phillip, that the theme of Her Majesty’s birthday was to be “Community, Charity and Celebration” and this is something the city has truly taken to heart. The main celebrations to look forward to on Sunday will be in the Parade Gardens, in the centre of the city. Here there will be a Charity Picnic for everyone to come and enjoy. Tickets cost just £10 per person (with under 12 year olds free).
There will be live music and food on sale from 10.30am through until 5pm, and everything has been done by local artists and vendors to the city, making it a truly community event. The money raised from the tickets will all be going to charity too; so this Party in the Park is truly capturing the essence of the Queen’s birthday theme.
If you fancy doing something even more charitable before celebrating with lots of food and entertainment in the Parade Gardens, why not join in the Bath Race For Life which is on Sunday 12th as well. Based in Royal Victoria Park you can come and walk, jog or run a 10k or 5k route in the city, all whilst raising money for Cancer Research UK. Start times are 9am and 11am respectively and you can register here. Details of costs are online.
On Saturday 11th June, St Saviours Church is celebrating a day early with a Garden Party in the grounds of the Church set up by the Larkhall Community Group. It costs Adults £3, Children £2 and Family ticket (3 people) £5. From 11am to 5pm there will be food, entertainment, quizzes, an art exhibition, and even a chance to “meet the Queen”! Sounds like a great day and one worth going to if you can’t make the big celebrations on Sunday.
We know that there are going to be some street parties within the city on the Sunday, one of which is on the appropriately named Coronation Road, so if you happen to be in the area why not walk over to explore more and support the local community and the event. At the AGA shop on Widcombe Parade from 11am to 3pm on Sunday 12th there will be tea and cakes for all to enjoy in celebration, plus you can pick up some hints and tips if you’re an AGA owner.
Bath Abbey will also be having its own celebrations, and not only can you enjoy the Sunday Service but there is an open invite to people to come and perform alongside the Men and Girls’ Choirs of the Abbey. What a fantastic opportunity in one of Bath’s beautiful and iconic buildings.
Naturally we couldn’t miss out on the Royal Celebrations, being a “Royal” ourselves – so come along and enjoy our Royal Cream Tea in our Bar and Lounge. Fresh home-made scones, served with decadent clotted cream and Tiptree strawberry jam, plus a pot of Twining’s tea all for only £5.50 per person. Plus if you want to toast Her Majesty’s 90th then why not grab a glass of Champagne too, for just £4.95 a glass. Perfect!
All in all, the weekend of Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June, has some fantastic events for everyone to enjoy. If you haven’t exhausted yourself with these then Visit Bath has plenty more ideas for this weekend.
Looking for somewhere to stay so you can truly enjoy those parties, then call us on 01225 463134 or take a look at our offers online. Rooms are available from only £99 per room per night including breakfast. Spa Breaks are also available. Come to Bath and enjoy The Royal treatment!
Happy Birthday Your Majesty!