Most regular and popular of royal visitors were the Duchess of Kent and her daughter Princess (later Queen) Victoria, who came almost every year between 1826 and 1835. They usually stayed at Mount Pleasant House (later the Calverley Hotel, now the Hotel du Vin), and the Princess much enjoyed her rides on the Common on her donkey named ‘Flower’. The townsfolk planted the Royal Victoria Grove, still to be seen on the Common, to celebrate these visits.
After her accession, Queen Victoria returned to Tunbridge Wells on two occasions, in 1849 and 1876. Edward VII came as Prince of Wales in 1862 and 1881; in later years, he agreed to the Council’s request in 1909 that the town be entitled to style itself ‘Royal’ on account of its long history of royal connections. Visits during the present century have included one by Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1928, and four by Elizabeth, Duchess of York and later Queen Mother, between 1932 and 1986. Diana, Princess of Wales, opened Royal Victoria Place in 1992. In 2006, as the climax of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Tunbridge Wells waters, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, unveiled a monument in Dunorlan Park to celebrate the Victoria Cross holders of the Borough.