Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal Borough of
Kensington and Chelsea
—  London borough, Royal borough  —

Coat of arms

Council logo
Kensington and Chelsea shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region London
Ceremonial county Greater London
Status London borough, Royal borough
Admin HQ Kensington
Incorporated 1 April 1965
 - Type London borough council
 - Body Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council
 - Leadership Leader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 - Mayor Cllr James Husband
 - MPs Greg Hands (Con)
Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Con)
 - London Assembly Kit Malthouse (Con) AM for West Central
 - EU Parliament London
 - Total 4.7 sq mi (12.13 km2)
Area rank 325th (of 326)
Population (2010 est.)
 - Total 169,500
 - Rank 102nd (of 326)
 - Density 36,191.5/sq mi (13,973.6/km2)
 - Ethnicity[1] 50.2% White British
2.7% White Irish
24.2% Other White
0.8% White & Black Caribbean
0.6% White & Black African
1.2% White & Asian
1.4% Other Mixed
3.0% Indian
1.1% Pakistani
0.9% Bangladeshi
1.4% Other Asian
2.2% Black Caribbean
3.5% Black African
0.6% Other Black
2.7% Chinese
3.6% Other
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 - Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postcodes NW

, SW

, W
Area code(s) 020
Police force Metropolitan Police

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (often abbreviated to RBKC) is a central London borough of Royal borough status. It is the wealthiest borough in England by some distance.

It is an urban area and was named in the 2001 census as the most densely populated local authority in the United Kingdom, with a population of 158,919 at 13,244 per square kilometre (the land area is approximately 12 square kilometres, making it the smallest of the London boroughs, excluding the City of London).

The borough is immediately to the west of the City of Westminster, which is at the heart of modern London, and to the east of Hammersmith & Fulham, and itself contains a substantial number of city centre facilities such as major museums and universities (in "Albertopolis"), department stores like Harrods, Peter Jones and Harvey Nichols, is home to the Notting Hill Carnival, Europe's largest carnival, and several Embassies in its Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Kensington Gardens districts. It also contains many of the most exclusive residential districts in London, which are also some of the most expensive in the world.

The local authority is Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council. The Royal borough's motto is Quam Bonum in Unum Habitare, which translates approximately as 'How good it is to dwell in unity'.



The borough was created in 1965 from the former boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea. Kensington's Royal Borough status was inherited by the new borough. The new borough was originally to be called just 'Kensington' - the inclusion of Chelsea was locally supported.[2]

Districts in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

The borough includes the areas of:


According to the 2001 census, the borough has a population of 158,919. It is 79% White, 4% Black African and 3% Black Caribbean. 44% of households are owner–occupiers. As of October 2004, statistics released[3] by the Office for National Statistics show that life expectancy at birth for females in Kensington and Chelsea was 84.8 years in 2001-2003, the highest in the United Kingdom. Male life expectancy at birth for the same period was 79.8 years, third highest in the UK. The figures for Kensington and Chelsea during 1991-1993 were significantly lower: 73.0 years for males (ranking 301st in the nation) and 80.0 for females (ranking 129th). Further investigation, however, indicates a 12 year gap in life expectancy between the affluent wards of Chelsea (Royal Hospital, Hans Town) and the most northerly wards of North Kensington (Golborne, Dalgarno) which are categorised by high levels of social housing and poverty.

Kensington and Chelsea's affluence is demonstrated by the fact that it has the largest number of high-earners (over £60,000) of any local government district in the country—16.6%.[4] It has the highest number of workers in the financial sector and the lowest number working in the retail sector.

In December 2006, Sport England published a survey which revealed that residents of Kensington and Chelsea were the fourth most active in England in sports and other fitness activities. 27.9% of the population participate at least three times a week for 30 minutes.[5]


Originally two separate metropolitan boroughs with their own town halls and administrations, it has today a single united local government authority, the Kensington & Chelsea London Borough Council, based in Kensington. One of its more notable (and controversial) Leaders was Nicholas Freeman, who was Leader from 1977 until 1989. The present Leader of the Council is Sir Merrick Cockell. He was elected in April 2000. Currently there are 42 Conservative councillors, 9 Labour and 3 Liberal Democrat.

The borough is divided between two constituencies represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom:

A London Underground train departing from Earl's Court station in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London.

At the previous General Election in 2005, the borough was divided differently:

  • Kensington and Chelsea, held by Malcolm Rifkind for the Conservative Party, and
  • Regent's Park and Kensington North, held by Karen Buck for the Labour Party.
Evolution of Parliamentary constituencies in Kensington and Chelsea
From 1885 From Feb 1974 From 1997 From 2010
Kensington North Kensington Part of Regent's Park and Kensington North Kensington
Kensington South Kensington and Chelsea
Chelsea Part of Chelsea and Fulham

Public transport


The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is served by 12 tube stations, and 6 of the 12 London Underground lines:

Kensington and Chelsea is served by tube stations situated at South Kensington, Gloucester Road, Kensington High Street, Earl's Court, Sloane Square, West Brompton, Olympia, Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park, Latimer Road, Knightsbridge, Westbourne Park, Ladbroke Grove, and partly Kensal Green.

The Chelsea area (SW3, SW10 and partly SW1) has noticeably much less Underground access than Kensington, the only station within Chelsea being Sloane Square. There are long-term plans for the Chelsea-Hackney line to come to fruition. This would provide a station in the King's Road near Chelsea Old Town Hall, and possibly another at Sloane Square. Its estimated completion is 2022.

National Rail and Overground

Kensington & Chelsea does not have any major London railway termini stations within its borough boundary, Paddington and Victoria being the nearest, but national railway stations in the borough are Kensington (Olympia) and West Brompton, and partly Kensal Green both served by the London Overground.


Many London bus routes pass through the borough, most of them running along King's Road, Fulham Road, Kensington High Street and Ladbroke Grove.

Possible new Crossrail station

Kensington and Chelsea Council is pushing for an additional Crossrail station in the north of the Borough at Kensal[6] off Ladbroke Grove & Canal Way. A turn-back facility will have to be built not too far west of Paddington anyway, and siting the turn-back at Kensal, rather than next to Paddington itself, would provide a frequent service to the new station, helping to regenerate the area.[7][8][9] Mayor Boris Johnson stated that a station would be added if it met three tests: it must not delay construction of Crossrail; it must not compromise performance of Crossrail or any other railway; and it must not increase Crossrail's overall cost. In response, Kensington and Chelsea Council agreed to underwrite the projected £33 million cost of a Crossrail station, to the extent that section 106 payments from the promoters of property developments expected near the station do not reach this sum.[10] The Council also funded a consultancy study which concluded that in many scenarios a Kensal station would not compromise Crossrail performance. TfL is conducting a feasibility study on the station. The project is supported by local MPs, the residents of the Borough, National Grid, retailers Sainsbury's and Cath Kidston, and Jenny Jones (Green Party member of the London Assembly).[11] It is also supported by the adjoining London Borough of Brent.[12]


Northcliffe House, head office of the Daily Mail and General Trust

The head office of Daily Mail and General Trust is located in the Northcliffe House in Kensington in the borough.[13][14]

Sonangol Limited, a subsidiary of the Sonangol Group, has its head office in the Merevale House in Kensington in the RBKC.[15]


A typical mews in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The Royal Borough has a number of notable Christian churches, including:

It is also home to a small Spanish and Portuguese synagogue, several mosques and the Sikh Central Gurudwara in Holland Park.

According to the 2001 Census, 24% of the borough identified themselves as being non-religious, or chose not to state their faith.

Featured places

Within the borough there are several of London's tourist attractions and landmarks:


Social services transport provided by the Borough

Within the council, the education department finances state-operated schools in the borough.[16] Some of them are:

Primary schools

Lycee Français Charles de Gaulle, a primary and secondary school
  • Ashburnham Community School
  • Avondale Park Primary School
  • Bousfield Primary
  • Chelsea Open Air Nursery
  • Christ Church CofE Primary
  • Colville Primary
  • Fox Primary
  • St Thomas
  • Holy Trinity CofE Primary
  • Instituto Español Cañada Blanch, also secondary school and Spanish Bachillerato.
  • Marlborough Primary
  • Lycee Français Charles de Gaulle, also a secondary school.
  • Middle Row Primary
  • Oratory RC Primary
  • Our Lady of Victories RC Primary
  • Oxford Gardens Primary
  • Park Walk Primary
  • Servite RC Primary
  • St Barnabas and St Philip's CofE Primary
  • St Charles RC Primary
  • St Clements and St James CofE Primary
  • St Cuthbert with St Matthias CofE Primary, a voluntary aided Church of England School in Warwick Road, Earl's Court teaching children from age four to 11 and consisting of two large playgrounds, a 150 year old Victorian building and a more recent extension.
  • St Francis of Assisi RC Primary
  • St Joseph RC Primary
  • St Mary Abbots CofE Primary
  • St Mary's RC Primary
  • St Thomas CofE Primary
  • St Philip's School
  • Thomas Jones Primary

Secondary schools

Kensington and Chelsea College (Hortensia Centre) in Chelsea
  • Kensington and Chelsea Pupil Referral Unit
  • Ashbourne Independent Sixth Form College
  • Holland Park School
  • Barlby Primary School
  • Queen's Gate School
  • Chelsea Academy

Independent schools


Public libraries

Libraries include the Kensington Central Library, Chelsea Library, Kensal Library, Brompton Library, North Kensington Library and the Notting Hill Gate Library.[17]

The French community

The number of French people living in the UK has increased every year since 1991, according to French government statistics.[18] It jumped by 8,716 in 2006, the biggest gain in at least twenty years. French people are situated throughout much of London, but are particularly found within the Kensington area. There are several French schools, some independent, and others: La Petite École Française in west London and the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle, situated in South Kensington and run by the French state.


  1. ^ Data Management and Analysis Group, Greater London Authority, Demography Update October 2007, (2007)
  2. ^ Chelsea Name Retained: New Decisions on Three Boroughs. The Times. 3 January 1963
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "The case for Kensal crossrail". Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. undated. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Case for a Crossrail station gains momentum" (Press release). Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 1 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Bloomfield, Ruth (24 August 2010). "Study to explore adding Crossrail station at Kensal Rise". Building Design (London). 
  9. ^ "Crossrail at Kensal Rise back on the cards?". London Reconnections (blog). 27 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Council to pay for Crossrail station". London Evening Standard. 25 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Kensal Crossrail station would 'transform' the area, says deputy mayor. Regeneration + Renewal. 16 May 2011.
  12. ^ "Brent backs plans for Kensal Crossrail". Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Contacts." Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved on 6 September 2011. "Northcliffe House 2 Derry Street London W8 5TT Great Britain"
  14. ^ Ponsford, Dominic. "Sharing with Mail 'will safeguard future of Independent'." Press Gazette. 28 November 2008. Retrieved on 6 September 2011. "Under a deal signed today, the Independent titles will share back office functions with the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Metro and Evening Standard at Northcliffe House in Kensington."
  15. ^ "Contact." Sonangol Limited. Retrieved on 6 August 2011. "Sonangol Limited Merevale House Brompton Place London SW3 1QE United Kingdom."
  16. ^
  17. ^ Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Retrieved on 13 January 2009.
  18. ^ IHT - the French making themselves at home in London

External links

Coordinates: 51°30′N 0°11′W / 51.50°N 0.19°W / 51.50; -0.19

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