King's Road  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The King's Road is a major, well-known street in west London, England.

It runs through Chelsea, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, from Sloane Square in the east (on the border with Belgravia and Knightsbridge) and through the Moore Park Estate on the border of Chelsea and Fulham opposite Stamford Bridge. This links on to the New Kings Road in Fulham which is in the west (this continues to Putney Bridge); its western end is located in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

During the hippie and punk eras, it was a major centre for the counterculture, but is now gentrified. It is effectively Chelsea's high street, and is one of the most fashionable shopping streets in London.

Kings Road derives its name from its original function as a private road used by Charles II to travel to Kew. It remained a private royal road until 1830, but people with the right connections were able to obtain a pass to use it. Some of the houses date from the early 18th century. Thomas Arne lived at No. 215 and is believed to have composed "Rule Britannia" there. Ellen Terry lived in the same house from 1904–1920, and is commemorated by a blue plaque.

In 1876, the world's first artificial ice rink, the Glaciarium, opened just off the Kings Road, and later in the year it relocated to a building on the street.

Kings Road was home in the 1960s to the Chelsea Drugstore (originally a chemist, that is to say a pharmacy, with a highly stylized chrome-and-neon soda fountain upstairs, later a public house; more recently the site became a McDonalds) and in the 1970s to Malcolm McLaren's boutique SEX.

"Kings Road" is the title of a song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers from their 1981 album Hard Promises.

See also

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