Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mecklenburg House - Once a royal residence

I took these photos on my final night in London in June 2016

Nearly a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace is Buckingham Gate, a street that runs from Birdcage Walk to Victoria, a lovely street which fine homes and posh hotels. This house is 16 Buckingham Gate. In 1889, following the death of her mother, Augusta, the Dowager Duchess of Cambridge, Grand Duchess Augusta of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, acquired the lease to this residence, which she named Mecklenburg House. The Grand Duchess, who preferred London to Strelitz, enjoyed her visits to England. Augusta was in London during the spring of 1904, when she received word of her husband's death. The Prince and Princess of Wales were at Victoria Station to say goodbye to Augusta on June 1, 1904, as she began her journey back to Neustrelitz, not returning again until March 26, 1905. This was probably her final visit to England. In July 1907, Augusta's niece, the Princess of Wales, traveled to Neustrelitz to see her aunt. After the first world war, 16 Buckingham Gate was converted to flats, at least, according to the listings in The Times. Bond & Co., a real estate agency, maintained an office in the building in 1930, thus ceasing to be a residence, royal or otherwise. The Dean of the British School of Osteopathy also had an office in the building. In the 1990s, the German-British Chamber of Industry and Commerce moved their offices into the building. The name of the building remains Mecklenburg House.

I wish I had walked by during the day, when I could have opened the door and ask if I could see any of the rooms.  I did that a few years earlier at Cambridge Cottage in Kew.

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