It’s been a month where London has been firmly in international headlines: the Royal baby, incomings and outgoings at Number 10 and the VE celebrations have signified both the historical stature and the diverse community at the heart of the nation’s capital.
People often say there’s always something going on in London. And it’s true, there is. From film screenings to festivals, new restaurants, bars or even a new corner of the city to explore it isn’t a place to stay still for long. Yet this month has seen a wealth of headlines about the city as it displays its rich historical pedigree and cultural significance.
First it was the birth of the royal baby. Hundreds of press, mostly international, camped outside of the hospital as they awaited news of the birth of Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s second child, and a little sister to Prince George, the little princess is fourth in line to the throne. Headlines and wall to wall coverage showcased London’s royal stature, home to one of the oldest monarchies in the world. Millions of tourists every year come to London to see Buckingham Palace, Kensington Gardens and the other Royal Palaces and gardens. Princess Charlotte may only be a few weeks old but her birth was a reminder that London is the home of one of the oldest dynasties in the globe.
Along the road from Buckingham Palace, the seat of London’s constitutional power, is Whitehall, its political throne. This month headlines throbbed with anticipation as the general election approached. Months of campaigning, travelling up and down the country, voters returned a majority conservative government to power. Prime Minister David Cameron may not be moving from Number 10 Downing Street but it’s been a strong reminder of the draw the UK’s political system has for tourists and visitors to the city; Downing Street and the Palace of Westminster are recognised worldwide.
Then, London took a moment to recognise its own place in history as it held celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day, Victory in Europe marking the end of fighting on the continent in WWII (VJ, or Victory in Japan Day, would not come until September). Three days of commemorations and celebrations including a 2 minute silence, thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey and military parades featuring current serving soldiers and veterans. A classical music concert at the Royal Albert Hall provided glitz and glitter for a celebration, echoing the relief and triumph at the end of the war in Europe.
As a global city London is a place that draws people to it; from business to culture, arts and commerce it’s a city that’s richly diverse. It isn’t just modern day London that reaps significance but also its historical stature. One of London’s most valuable resources is its history, which as Clarendon recognises after 27 years in the capital, attracts people from around the world for both business and leisure.