Royal Chesterfield

This exhibition looks back at the numerous royal visits to Chesterfield.

Crowning support

The twentieth century saw four royal coronations. Chesterfield marked each occasion with enthusiasm with celebrations across the borough.

Edward VII

9 August 1902

Crowds flocked to the Market Place  to hear the proclamation, read by the mayor, announcing the reign of the new king, Edward VII.

Edward VII

Revolution House decorated to celebrate the coronation in 1902 (pictured above).

George V

22 June 1911

The mayor heads the civic parade to Queen’s Park on Coronation Day, 1911

George V Coronation

A fair (pictured above) was held for three days on the site of Markham Broad Oak Works as part of the 1911 coronation celebrations. Mayor, Charles Paxton Markham paid for each school child to have two free rides.

George VI

12 May 1937

Fancy Dress

Ladies from Sheepbridge dressed in costume (pictured above) as part of the festivities for the 1937 coronation. Celebrations in the town centre included a civic procession with a special service at the Parish Church and a fete in Queen’s Park with sports, games and music ending in a fireworks display.

Elizabeth II

2 June 1953

Every shop in Chesterfield was decorated with a patriotic theme for the 1953 Coronation. Pictured below is Swallows on Packer’s Row. 



Royal seal of approval

Royal visitors to Chesterfield always attract significant local support. They are often called upon to open new developments in the town.

Princess Royal

Princess Mary, the Princess Royal inspects the local Home Guard in Queen’s Park in 1941 (pictured above) in her capacity of the Honorary Controller-Commandant of the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

Crowds gathered on Knifesmithgate in 1977 to catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh on their visit to Chesterfield as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations. 

1981 saw record crowds gathered in the Market Square to see Prince Charles and Princess Diana on their visit to Chesterfield to open the Pavements Shopping Centre and the new Police Divisional Headquarters.

Revolution House

Revolution House was re-opened by Prince Charles (pictured above) in 1988 after extensive restoration. The project was part of the Tercentenary celebrations marking 300 years since the Revolution of 1688. The Prince was presented with a stoneware ‘hunting jug’ with decorations showing William and Mary, Revolution House and the Prince’s coat of arms.

Mavis Glasby presented flowers to Princess Diana on her visit to Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire branch of Relate, as patron of that charity in 1993. On the same day Princess Diana also visited Whittington Hall Hospital for learning disabled adults to officially open Meadow View Nursing Home at the Hall for 24 of its residents. 

The Earl of Wessex officially re-opened Queen’s Park in 2005 after a £4 million restoration project. The park was dedicated in honour of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.

Jubilee celebrations

2012 sees the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II celebrating 60 years on the throne, only the second monarch to do so. Royal milestones were all celebrated by Chesterfield people.

Jubilee Celebrations

Crowds gather in the Market Place to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887 (pictured above). Events included a civic procession with decorated floats by local businesses, a special tea for the elderly and firework displays.

TP Wood

In March 1887 an appeal was launched to raise money for a public recreation ground in Chesterfield to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Mayor, TP Wood, is shown in the picture above at its dedication. The park was not completed until 1893, however.

Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 was marked by a full programme of events including a civic procession, concerts in Queen’s Park and a cricket match. 

John Turners decorated for George V’s Silver Jubilee in 1935. The Derbyshire Times reported, ‘Chesterfield has broken out into bunting. Shops, offices, and houses have donned a festive dress and banners, pennons, shields, portraits of their Majesties, flowers and batteries of lights of many colours are everywhere’.

Hope Street in Brampton celebrated the 1935 Silver Jubilee with a tea party for the children. Each school child in Chesterfield was given a souvenir sixpence and medal to mark the occasion. 

Silver Jubilee Flower Bed

Visitors admire a special flower bed in Queen’s Park (pictured above) to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee.

The 1977 Silver Jubilee saw street parties taking place across the Borough. Uncertain weather forced many parties indoors.

Pupils from Mary Swanwick Primary School celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 with handmade crowns and a special feast in the playground.

Royal support

Chesterfield’s businesses and organisations have enjoyed royal support over the years, acknowledging the town’s industry and the work of local people.

Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent inspected troops on her visit to Chesterfield Tube Company in July 1945. The company provided vital supplies for the war effort, producing over 12 million feet of tubing for aircraft construction alone. Other royal visits to the Tube Company include the Duke of Kent in 1941 and the Duke of Gloucester in 1943.

The Duke of Edinburgh admired the icing on a dummy cake decorated by one of Chesterfield College’s bakery students on a visit to open the college’s nine storey extension in November 1958. He also visited Wingerworth Coke Plant on the same day to open their new coke research station.

Duke of York

The Duke of York, later King George VI, (pictured above) on a visit to Robinson’s in 1933 in his capacity as the President of the Industrial Welfare Society. He is pictured here in the gumming department at Portland Works.

Princess Margaret

Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowden (pictured above) visited Robinson's in 1963 to see the firm’s new cellulose wadding machine. They were given a full tour of the Works by members of the Robinson family. The Princess also attended a civic lunch reception at the Town Hall given by the mayor, E B Robinson.

Prince Charles admired the Robinson packing archive on a visit to the company in 1989 as President of Business in the Community, a charity promoting responsible business practice.

Patients at Ashgate Hospice greeted Katherine, Duchess of Kent, who officially opened the facility in 1989.

Duke of Kent

The Duke of Kent greets the Mayoress, Mrs Kendellen, on a visit to Dema Glass in 1992 (pictured above). The visit was in his capacity as Vice-Chairman of the British Overseas Trade Board giving recognition of GB Glass’s (a sister company of Dema) achievement on being given the Queen’s Award for Industry.

Royals at the Royal

Chesterfield’s first hospital was located on Holywell Street and opened in 1860. Permission was granted by King George V in 1919 add use the word ‘Royal’ in its name.

As the town grew and demand for hospital services increased, it was clear that expansion on the current site was limited. A site at Calow was chosen and in keeping with its ‘Royal’ name, the hospital was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1985. Royal connections to the hospital remain strong as the service continues to develop. Queen Elizabeth officially opened the Royal Hospital at Calow in March 1985.

Prince Charles

The Cavendish Suite, a chemotherapy wing, was opened by Prince Charles in February 1999. The facility was the result of a North Derbyshire fundraising appeal.

The Countess of Wessex opened the new Birth Centre in May 2010. 

Duchess of Cornwall opened the newly developed Hasland, Elmton and Ridgeway wards on February 2011. 

Princess Anne greeted parents at the opening of ‘The Den’ in 2009. This purpose built children’s outpatients unit has a child friendly atmosphere to make hospital visits less scary. The Scarsdale Maternity and Gynaecology Wing was also opened by her in 1990.

Last updated on 01/02/2024