Lyme Regis: A Royal Connection

edward the vii and princess alexandra

Both The Alexandra and the beautiful coastal town of Lyme Regis have had their brushes with royalty throughout the course of history. Indeed, the first documented royal visitor to Lyme came at the tail-end of the 13th century when Edward I descended on the coastal town in the summer of 1297. It was Edward, in fact, who had granted Lyme its royal charter over a decade previously, allowing the town to add the Latin 'Regis' to its name—which translates to 'of the King'—in exchange for promises of building warships and tax collection.

Three years before Edward’s first visit, and while England was embroiled in a war with France, the King ordered that the town build a galley of 120 oars to aid the ongoing war effort. With time against the shipbuilders of Lyme, they managed a vessel of 54 oars before the King’s arrival! 

The Alexandra itself is actually named after the wife of Edward VII, Princess Alexandra of Denmark, who later became Queen Consort of the United Kingdom when her husband became King in 1901—the year in which the Alexandra opened. Meanwhile, Princess Anne paid a visit to the Alexandra in 2007 after opening the beautiful town gardens once the vital land stability work had been completed. The royal connections, then, between Lyme Regis, our charming coastal retreat in Dorset, and the monarchy, are deep-rooted and fascinating.

princess anne visits the alexandra in 2007

A new royal story

Last autumn, to begin a new chapter in the pages of royal history, Buckingham Palace announced that the Coronation of King Charles III would take place on Saturday 6th of May, alongside The Queen Consort. This historic event, now just a few days away, aims to reflect the modern role of the monarch while honoring longstanding traditions associated with the royal ascension.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, and our town’s own royal connections, the community of Lyme Regis have come together to host a fun-packed long weekend of festivities. Everything from Coronation cream teas, a free screening of the ceremony at the Marine Theatre, a whole host of live music, a Kings and Queens fancy dress party, and plenty more besides—all culminating in the Big Coronation Party, hosted by Lyme Regis Town Council. It’s a wonderful, family-friendly schedule that’s well worth a trip to Lyme to experience.

pre-war alexandra hotel

Celebrate at the Alexandra

Located just a short distance from the royal festivities in town, The Alexandra offers comfortable and convenient accommodation for visitors looking to get stuck into the celebrations.

Be sure to book your visit! We'll have bunting out and Alexandra Teas on offer for the big day, and the coronation will be streamed live in our beautiful 18th century chapel. Combine that with our usual warm hospitality, delicious food and drink menus, and breath-taking sea views, it’s the perfect place to stay for this historic event. Why not come and join us at our stunning coastal retreat and find a room fit for a King!

Posted on May 8th 2023

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