Chelsea History Festival

For history-buffs and budding-historians, the Chelsea History Festival will launch this October to bring the past to life through a programme of world-class speakers, historians and performers. The inaugural festival will take place from 9-13 October 2019 along the Royal Hospital Road at founder venues, the National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Chelsea and Chelsea Physic Garden. In it’s first year, the Festival will host a programme of more than 35 free and ticketed¬†events which include talks, concerts and family activities making history more accessible.

Headline Events

Wednesday – the event launches on Wednesday 9 October, on the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, one of the most daring campaigns of WW2. Celebrated Arnhem veteran, Victor Gregg will be in conversation with bestselling historian Rick Stroud, followed by a lecture from Antony Beevor on the famous ‘battle for the bridges’.

Thursday – join an evening performance of The Lark Ascending, featuring one of the world’s leading lyric baritones, Roderick Williams, taking place in the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s Wren Chapel.

Friday – Max Hastings headlines with a talk on his new book Chastised: The Dambusters Story, 1943 which will be published in September.

Saturday – the principal day of the Festival with over 20 scheduled events including the formidable Sonia Purnell with her New York Times bestseller A Woman of No Importance, history walks around the neighbourhood and David Nott sharing his experiences as a surgeon in Aleppo.

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Model Holding a Bazaar Bag c. 1959 - Mary Quant archive

Mary Quant Exhibition

This April, the first international retrospective on the¬†inspirational British fashion designer, Mary Quant, opens at the V&A with the King’s Road proud to be the leading sponsor.

This one-of-a-kind exhibition explores 1955-1975 and the years in which she revolutionised the high street whilst harnessing the youthful spirit of the 60s. 120 garments as well as accessories, cosmetics, sketches and photographs – many of which have never been on display before – will be on display, showcasing Quant as a role model for women, challenging conventions and popularising the mini skirts, coloured tights and tailored trousers. The fashion icon inspired young women to rebel against traditional dress worn by mothers and grandmothers and the show will explore some of her most memorable moments, from receiving her OBE to the evolution of rising hemlines.

From her small boutique, Bazaar on the King’s Road, to leading international label, Mary Quant revolutionised British Fashion with energy, flair and rebellion.

Book your tickets here – and take a stroll along the King’s Road to be part of the history!

#WeWantQuant

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Lawrence of Arabia, the Arab revolt and the forgotten few who shaped it

Historian, Philip Walker, will be offering a complimentary talk which explores the Arab Revolt of 1916-18.

A key group of British officers based at Jeddah saved the Arab revolt from likely collapse both before and during T.E Lawrence’s indispensable involvement. In particular, the influence of Colonel Cyril Wilson over the revolt’s leader. Sherif Hussein of Mecca was at least important as that of Lawrence over Emir Feisal. Without the diplomatic and intelligence work of Wilson’s team, the world would not have heard of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’.

The forgotten men’s lost story provides a fresh and timely perspective and the Arab Revolut during its centenary.

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