Kent Road, TW9

Place Name

A somewhat late recognition of Prince Edward (November 2, 1767 – January 23, 1820), Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son and fifth child (there were 15 in total) of King George III and the father of Queen Victoria. This originally formed part of Gloucester Road, named after his uncle since it had been part of the Gloucester House estate which was redeveloped in 1862.  Prince Edward was created Duke of Kent and Strathearn, and Earl of Dublin on April 23, 1799 and, a few weeks later, appointed a General and commander-in-chief of British forces in the Maritime Provinces of North America. Within a few years he was appointed Governor of Gibraltar and nominally retained that post until his death. He notched up a few notable firsts: he was the first member of the royal family to live in North America for a prolonged time (1791 – 1800) and, in 1794, the first prince to enter the United States (travelling to Boston on foot from Lower Canada) after independence. He is credited with the first use, on June 27, 1792, of the term Canadian to mean both French and English settlers in Upper and Lower Canada. The Prince used the term in an effort to quell a riot between the two groups at a polling station in Charlesbourg, Lower Canada. Closer to home he was raised, with his brother the future William IV, at 37 Kew Green. Many years later he married at the Dutch House, Kew. H M Cundall author of Bygone Richmond writes: “The last royal ceremony performed in this house was the marriage of the Duke of Clarence (William IV) with Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, and the re-marriage of the Duke of Kent to Princess of Saxe-Coburg simultaneously on July 16th, 1818. It was owing to Queen Charlotte’s serious illness that these ceremonies took place in her drawing-room.” David Blomfield in Kew Past takes up the story: “The ‘wedding reception’ added an equally bizarre, though unexpectedly sentimental, touch. The princesses organised a picnic tea for the family at the Queen’s Cottage. The Queen herself was too ill to attend that last family picnic, and died a few weeks later at Kew.” Despite these royal connections it wasn’t until this road was separated from Gloucester Road that it was given its present name by Richmond Council in 1895.


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