Main Births etc
Royal Borough of
Kensington and Chelsea
—  London borough, Royal borough  —
Coat of arms of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
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 4.68 sq mi (12.13 km2)
Area rank 325th (of 326)
Population (2006 est.)
 • Total 158,300
 • Rank 115th (of 326)
 • 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 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 an urban area and considered to be one of the most densely populated local authorities in the United Kingdom. It is also known as one of the most affluent and poshest places in 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 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 Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Kensington Gardens. It 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 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:

See also Kensington and Chelsea parks and open spaces


At the 2001 census, the borough had a population of 158,919. They are 79% White, 4% Black African and 3% Black Caribbean. Due to its high French population, mainly made up of bankers and associated household support staff, it has long held the unofficial title of the 21st arrondissement of Paris.[3]

44% of households are owner–occupied. As of October 2004, statistics released[4] by the Office for National Statistics showed that life expectancy at birth for females 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, the third highest in the UK. The figures in 1991–1993 were significantly lower: 73.0 years for males (ranking 301st in the nation) and 80.0 for females (ranking 129th). Further investigation 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 have high levels of social housing and poverty.

The borough has a higher proportion (16.6%) of high earners (over £60,000 per year) than any other local government district in the country.[5] It has the highest proportion of workers in the financial sector and the lowest proportion working in the retail sector.

In December 2006, Sport England published a survey which showed that the borough's residents 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.[6]


A London Underground train departing from Earl's Court station

Kensington Central Library, London W8

Two of its more notable council leaders were Nicholas Freeman, from 1977 until 1989, and Sir Merrick Cockell who held the position from 2000 to 2013. The Council has 42 Conservative, 9 Labour and 3 Liberal Democrat councillors. The Labour or Liberal councillors have tended to date to have represented areas of the borough with pockets of of economic deprivation; some marginal wards in the borough are concentrated towards the north where north Kensington meets Kilburn, Kensal Rise/Green and Ladbroke Grove. All the wards in Holland Park, Notting Hill, Kensington, South Kensington, and Chelsea are termed under the first past the post electoral system safe seats based on their results since the Council's creation in 1965.

The borough shares a Chief Executive with neighbouring Hammersmith & Fulham, and the two boroughs have combined a number of services and departments with one another and with Westminster City Council.

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

  • Kensington, held by Sir Malcolm Rifkind for the Conservative Party, and
  • Chelsea and Fulham, held by Greg Hands for the Conservative Party.

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 RBKC
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 borough has 12 tube stations, on six of the 12 London Underground lines:

  • Bakerloo line
  • Central line
  • Circle line
  • District line
  • Hammersmith & City line
  • Piccadilly line

with stations 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.

Chelsea (SW3, SW10 and partly SW1) has less Underground access than Kensington, the only station within Chelsea being Sloane Square. There are long-term plans for the Chelsea-Hackney line, with 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

Paddington and Victoria are the nearest major railway termini, and National Rail stations in the borough are Kensington (Olympia) and West Brompton, and partly Kensal Green, all both served by the London Overground.


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

Possible new Crossrail station

The borough council is pushing for an additional Crossrail station in the north of the borough, at Kensal[7] off Ladbroke Grove & Canal Way. A turn-back facility will have to be built not too far west of Paddington, and siting the turn-back at Kensal rather than next to Paddington would provide a frequent service, helping to regenerate the area.[8][9][10] London 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, the borough council agreed to underwrite the projected £33 million cost of the station to the extent that section 106 payments from the promoters of property developments expected near the station do not reach this sum.[11] The Council 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).[12] It is also supported by the adjoining London Borough of Brent.[13]


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

The head office of Daily Mail and General Trust is in the Northcliffe House in Kensington.[14][15]

Sonangol Limited, a subsidiary of the Sonangol Group, has its head office in Merevale House in Kensington.[16] KCPlanning has its head office at 96 Kensington High Street in the Drylands Building.


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

The borough has a number of notable Christian churches, including:

  • Brompton OratoryRoman Catholic
  • Chelsea Old Church (All Saints)Church of England
  • Holy Trinity BromptonChurch of England
  • St Columba's Church, Pont StreetChurch of Scotland
  • St Luke's Church, Chelsea, Sydney Street – Church of England
  • St Mary AbbotsChurch of England
  • St Sophia's CathedralGreek Orthodox Church

It is 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's population identified themselves as being non-religious or chose not to state their faith.

Featured places[]

Main entrance of the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College London

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

  • Brompton Oratory
  • Earl's Court
  • Harrods
  • Imperial College (part)
  • Kensington Arcade
  • Kensington High Street
  • Kensington Palace
  • King's Road
  • Ladbroke Grove
  • Leighton House Museum
  • Notting Hill Gate
  • Olympia (part)
  • Portobello Road
  • Royal Hospital Chelsea
  • Saatchi Gallery
  • Sloane Street
  • The Science Museum and Natural History Museum
  • Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Stamford Bridge



Social services transport provided by the Borough

The council's education department finances state schools.[17]

Further education[]

  • Kensington and Chelsea College
  • St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College


  • English National Ballet School- in the heart of Chelsea
  • Royal College of Art – the main campus is in South Kensington, with the sculpture department in Battersea.
  • Royal College of Music
  • Imperial College London – the main campus is in South Kensington.
  • Heythrop College – a Constituent College of the University of London specialising in Theology & Philosophy
  • Richmond, The American International University in London – the secondary campus is in Kensington.

Public libraries[]

Libraries include the Kensington Central Library, Chelsea Library, Kensal Library, Brompton Library, North Kensington Library and the Notting Hill Gate Library.[18]

International relations[]

The French community[]

The number of French people living in the UK has increased every year since 1991, according to French government statistics.[19] It jumped by 8,716 in 2006, the biggest gain in at least 20 years. French people live throughout much of London, but particularly in Kensington. There are several French schools, officially classed as independent schools in the UK, as they are not maintained or owned by local councils or the Department for Education: La Petite École Française in west London and the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in South Kensington (which is owned and run by the French state) are among them.

Town twinning[]

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is formally twinned with:

See also[]

  • Tri-borough shared services


  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. ^ Global Business. "High earners say au revoir to France". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Guardian
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The case for Kensal crossrail". Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. undated. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Case for a Crossrail station gains momentum" (Press release). Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 1 July 2010. 
  9. ^ Bloomfield, Ruth (24 August 2010). "Study to explore adding Crossrail station at Kensal Rise". Building Design (London). 
  10. ^ "Crossrail at Kensal Rise back on the cards?". London Reconnections (blog). 27 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Council to pay for Crossrail station". Evening Standard (London). 25 March 2011. 
  12. ^ Kensal Crossrail station would 'transform' the area, says deputy mayor. Regeneration + Renewal. 16 May 2011.
  13. ^ "Brent backs plans for Kensal Crossrail". Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Contacts." Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved 6 September 2011. "Northcliffe House 2 Derry Street London W8 5TT Great Britain"
  15. ^ Ponsford, Dominic. "Sharing with Mail 'will safeguard future of Independent'." Press Gazette. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 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."
  16. ^ "Contact." Sonangol Limited. Retrieved 6 August 2011. "Sonangol Limited Merevale House Brompton Place London SW3 1QE United Kingdom."
  17. ^
  18. ^ Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Retrieved 13 January 2009.
  19. ^ IHT – the French making themselves at home in London
  20. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns [via"]. Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 

External links[]

Template:LB Kensington and Chelsea

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

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.