The walls of the Ritz are covered with photographs of the wealthiest, the most famous and it is also the place where the royals celebrate birthdays.
2002 was an important year in the palace, it was the 80th birthday of the queen and selecting the best venue was easy, as nothing quite compare to the Ritz in Piccadilly. It is the only time that the staff removes their white gloves, which is always used when serving others.
1978 Ritz Adds New Glamour
In June 1978 the London social scene was colorful, quirky and consisted of big sports stars, aristocrats and high rollers all looking for a private club to enjoy socializing. The Ritz added such a destination when it opened the Ritz Casino, today it remains true to that extravagant echo.
No other venue is quite as extraordinary as the Ritz when royals, superstars or the wealthiest want to enjoy a sip of Dom Perignon and nibble on caviar. The renovations back in 1978 added splendor at an astronomical price at the time of $1.8 million. In 1976 the Ritz ownership changed, and it became the property of Trafalgar House Limited who bought it for $90 million. The Ritz Casino was not part of the deal, and Grand Metropolitan Hotels owned 75%.
Ritz Hotel’s Famous Visitors
Described by Jackie Onassis as a paradise, the lavish decor was also enjoyed by Sophia Loren brought to the Ritz by Elton John. Prime ministers such as Edward Heath and Harold MacMillion dined at the hotel, and it is here where Margaret Thatcher wanted to enjoy her final days in a luxury suite.
The royal family favours the Ritz, it was chosen as the most excellent venue available for the queens 80th birthday. It is also in 1999 the place where Camilla Bowles and Prince Charles were photographed; it was the first photos of the couple. In 2007, Kate Middleton found that the revolving door was locked when she tried to enter the Ritz.
Chef John Williams got the hotel its first Michelin star back in 2016, and he has cooked something special for the queen many times. The queen is not his favourite as she is second; he loves cooking for the prince of Wales.
Filming at the Ritz
In the film Notting Hill, some of the scenes include Julia Roberts in 1999 at the Ritz Hotel as well as Hugh Grant walking past all the glamour with a bunch of yellow flowers in his hand. Rod Steward’s wife was also filmed celebrating her birthday at the hotel dressed in a cocktail dress with a fur shrug.
Some of the black and white photographs on the walls include that taken in 1949 of Prince Aly Khan and his wife Rita Hayworth, the American Actress. You can also find photos of Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren at the hotel; these were taken in 1960. Paul McCarthy and Linda Eastman had their wedding ceremony at the Ritz Hotel in 1969.