The BBC tries to unravel the mystery of the house where Queen Elizabeth II was born | People


She is the longest-reigning British monarch to date, 69, but Elizabeth II’s birth took place far from the palace walls. On April 21, 1926, the sovereign was born in a common house located at 17 Bruton Street, in the central London neighborhood of Mayfair. As the first-born of the youngest son of King George V, it was not expected then that he would come to occupy the throne and his parents moved to that building a few weeks before his arrival in the world. However, the course of events made that place, now disappeared, become the target of the curious and about it there are different theories that now, the British channel BBC, doubts.

Queen Elizabeth II's mother, the Duchess of York, leaves 17 Bruton street on the way to her daughter's christening.
Queen Elizabeth II’s mother, the Duchess of York, leaves 17 Bruton street on the way to her daughter’s christening. E. Bacon (Getty)

The house in question disappeared and, according to Wikipedia, it was demolished after being hit by German bombardments on the English capital during World War II. The television network disputes that claim, pointing to how a “pile” of documents from the British Library and other archives shows that the 18th century house disappeared even before the war began. “It was the real estate developers, much more relentless than the air strikes, who destroyed the first house of the queen,” says the article published on its website. Apparently, in 1937, “a man in a top hat and a frock coat” began the demolitions of that building and other neighboring buildings, and although there were plans then to build a hotel, a commercial and office complex ended up being built. In case there were still any doubts, the BBC notes that a note from a surveyor dated May 1939 and preserved in the London Metropolitan Archives confirms that the house had been demolished and that “its site is part of what it is on. has built Berkeley Square House ”.

The thesis that the place where Elizabeth II was born was the pasture of the violence of the war, is not the only one that the chain demolishes. Many believe that in the place where Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon gave birth to the monarch there is now an Asian restaurant. Not just anyone else, but one of the most famous in London, Hakkasan, the place where the Spanish chef Dabiz Muñoz worked and whose cuisine has influenced (and greatly) the gastronomic proposal of Madrid. Again, this story is not entirely true. The well-known establishment does indeed have the same address – 17 Bruton Street – but also a bricked-up office stretch on the same block and a glass-fronted corporate entrance and reception area right next door. That is to say, this entire extensive commercial block is built on what in the 1920s would have been a row of single-family and private houses and it is the corporate entrance that is located in the closest place to the original location of number 17 of the street. As shown in archives kept at the London Metropolitan Archive in Clerkenwell, the missing building would have been around said access, with the façade extending into what is now a showroom for cars sold by Bugattis and Bentleys. Even so, one end of the Asian restaurant would have been superimposed on the place where the house was located, a curiosity that does not go unnoticed by the diners of the place. “It’s a very interesting topic of conversation, one that falls well with our customers,” says Hakkasan manager Sharon Wightman.

Despite questions about where the house in which he was born was actually located, there are two plaques that commemorate the place of birth, including one from Westminster City Hall. Both have been moved as the site has been transformed and are currently at the edge of the original site. There, her grandparents, the then monarchs George V and María de Teck, came to meet Elizabeth II, who recorded in her diary that the little girl was “dear, with a charming complexion and very blond hair”. And from that building the queen’s mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, also went to the altar in April 1923, to marry the Duke of York.

One of the plaques that marks the place where Elizabeth II of England was born on April 21, 1926.
One of the plaques that marks the place where Elizabeth II of England was born on April 21, 1926. Chris Ratcliffe (Getty)

The same year of her birth, the queen and her parents moved to a larger house in Piccadilly, although thanks to a newspaper of the time it is known that the room in which the delivery took place was “one of the least ornate, but also one of the sunniest ”. There are few places in London that can boast of having welcomed a future king and queen within its walls, but curiously this place, which today belongs to the Abu Dhabi royal family, is practically on the fringes of the tourist circuits.


elpais.com

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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