Mayfair Venue for AWC Founders’ Day Gala Has Colorful History

Saturday, February 15, 2020 19:23 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Sneak Peek: Check out the location for May 1st charity gala

Whitney Edwards, Vice President and Special Events Director of the American Women’s Club of London (AWC), knew she had found the perfect spot for the Club’s 2020 Founders’ Day Gala upon first sight.

Located just off Park Lane in Mayfair, the stately No.4 Hamilton Place is a Grade II listed building with a grand interior and notable history. A former residence of the Duke of Wellington (pre– Battle of Waterloo), the five-floor Edwardian townhouse features elegant reception rooms, bay windows, a dramatic staircase, and a roof terrace with sweeping views of Hyde Park. The popular wedding spot is prized for its old-world grandeur and has preserved many of the period details from its 200-plus years of history.

The historic building has also served as headquarters for The Royal Aeronautical Society since 1939, a fact that holds special significance for our event-planning team. “This fits perfectly with our theme of ‘women taking flight’,” said Edwards. “I can’t think of a better venue for our 121st Founders’ Day event!”

Notable Names and Dates at No.4 Hamilton Place

Designed in 1807 for the 2nd Earl of Lucan, the building is best known as the one-time home of the Duke of Wellington, who rented the property in 1814 before moving to Apsley House. Lord Granville took up residence in 1822, followed by a succession of bankers, including the Viceroy of India, Lord Northbrook, through the end of the 19th century.

In March 1939 the Royal Aeronautical Society moved into No.4 Hamilton Place. During the Second World War, the staff remained on the premises, but many archives and records were removed to safety. The house suffered blast damage on seven occasions.

In 1950s–1960s the Society purchased adjacent land to expand its garden, built a lecture theatre and added a fifth floor to the top of the house. In 2009 it purchased the freehold of No.4 Hamilton Place from the Crown Estate, thereby safeguarding its headquarters for future generations of aeronautical engineers.

Fun Facts About No.4

No.4 Hamilton Place was used as the Embassy Club in the Downton Abbey Christmas special in 2013.


Photo credit:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended a Women’s Empowerment reception at No. 4 Hamilton Place as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2018. The event was hosted by Boris Johnson, who was Foreign Secretary at the time.


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