The Kensington and Chelsea Council received its Charter of Incorporation as a London borough on 10 March 1964, following the re-organisation of London government. Prior to this the separate boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea had been metropolitan boroughs since 1 January 1900.
The title ‘Royal Borough’ was originally granted to the Kensington Council by Royal Charter dated 20 November 1901, to fulfil a wish expressed by Queen Victoria to confer a distinction on her birth place. The use of this Royal Title was graciously conferred by Letters Patent dated 7 April 1964, on the new borough.
The Council’s Coat of Arms was granted by the College of Arms on 10 December 1965, and is of entirely new design incorporating none of the features of the Arms of the old boroughs.
The Shield comprises three Crowns on ermine symbolising the Royal status of the borough, and an Abbot’s Mitre signifying the centuries old connection of Kensington with the Abbey of Abingdon and of Chelsea with the Abbey of Westminster.
The crest consists of a Bush of Broom. This indicates the connecting link between the two former boroughs of the ‘Brompton’ Ward of Kensington which, for Parliamentary purposes, forms part of the Constituency of Chelsea. Brompton, in medieval times, was an area famous for its fields of gorse and the name itself was a corruption of ‘broom tun’, a gorse farm.
The supporters are a blue boar and a silver winged bull. The boar is taken from the Arms of the De Vere family who were Lords of the Manor of Kensington for 500 years. The winged bull is associated with St Luke, the Patron Saint of the ancient Parish of Chelsea.
The motto ‘Quam Bonum In Unum Habitare’ is the Latin version of the opening words of the 133rd Psalm – ‘What a good thing it is to dwell together in unity’.