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The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (often abbreviated to RBKC, usually pronounced 'RBK and C') is a London borough in the west side of central London.

It is an urban area and was named in the 2001 census as the most densely populated local authority in the United Kingdommarker, with a population of 158,919 at 13,244 per square kilometre (the land area is approximately 12 square kilometres).

The borough is immediately to the west of the City of Westminstermarker, which is at the heart of modern London, and itself contains a substantial number of city centre facilities such as major museums and universities (in "Albertopolismarker"), department stores like Harrodsmarker, and embassies. It also contains many of the most exclusive residential districts in London, which are also some of the most expensive in the world.


It was created in 1965 from the former boroughs of Kensingtonmarker and Chelseamarker. Kensington's Royal Borough status was inherited by the new borough. The new borough was originally to be called just 'Kensington' - the inclusion of Chelsea was locally supported.

Districts in Kensington and Chelsea

The borough includes the areas of:


According to the 2001 census, the borough has a population of 158,919. It is 79% white, 4% Black African and 3% Black Caribbean. 44% of households are owner–occupiers.
, statistics released by the Office for National Statistics show that life expectancy at birth for females in Kensington and Chelsea was 84.8 years in 2001-2003, the highest in the United Kingdom. Male life expectancy at birth for the same period was 79.8 years, third highest in the UK. The figures for Kensington and Chelsea during 1991-1993 were significantly lower: 73.0 years for males (ranking 301st in the nation) and 80.0 for females (ranking 129th).

Kensington and Chelsea's affluence is demonstrated by the fact that it has the largest number of high-earners (over £60,000) of any local government district in the country — 16.6%. It has the highest number of workers in the financial sector and the lowest number working in the retail sector.

In December 2006, Sport England published a survey which revealed that residents of Kensington and Chelsea were the fourth most active in England in sports and other fitness activities. 27.9% of the population participate at least three times a week for 30 minutes.


Originally two separate metropolitan boroughs with their own town halls and administrations, it has today a single united local government authority, the Kensington & Chelsea London Borough Council, based in Kensington. One of its more notable (and controversial) Leaders was Nicholas Freeman, who was Leader from 1977 until 1989. The present Leader of the Council is Merrick Cockell. He was elected in April 2000. Currently there are 45 conservative councillors, 8 Labour and 1 Liberal Democrat.

The borough is divided between two constituencies represented in the House of Commonsmarker of the Parliament of the United Kingdommarker:

It is intended that the constituency be divided so that Kensington becomes independent of Chelsea while Chelsea joins Fulham.

Evolution of Parliamentary constituencies in Kensington and Chelsea
From 1885 From Feb 1974 From 1997 From next election
Part of
Part of


The Royal Borough has a number of notable Christian churches, including:

It is also home to a small Spanish and Portuguese synagogue, several mosques and the Sikh Central Gurudwara in Holland Parkmarker.


Playfish, an online video game company, has its head office in the borough.


Within the council, the education department finances state-operated schools in the borough.Some of them are:

Primary schools

  • Ashburnham Community School
  • Avondale Park Primary School
  • Bousfield Primary
  • Chelsea Open Air Nursery
  • Christ Church CofE Primary
  • Colville Primary
  • Fox Primary
  • St Thomas
  • Holy Trinity CofE Primary
  • Instituto Español Cañada Blanch, also secondary school and Spanish Bachillerato.
  • Marlborough Primary
  • Lycee Français Charles de Gaullemarker, also a secondary school.
  • Middle Row Primary
  • Oratory RC Primary
  • Our Lady of Victories RC Primary
  • Oxford Gardens Primary
  • Park Walk Primary
  • Servite RC Primary
  • St Barnabas and St Philip's CofE Primary
  • St Charles RC Primary
  • St Clements and St James CofE Primary
  • St Cuthbert with St Matthias CofE Primary, a voluntary aided Church of England School in Warwick Road, Earl's Courtmarker teaching children from age four to 11 and consisting of two large playgrounds, a 150 year old Victorian building and a more recent extension.
  • St Francis of Assisi RC Primary
  • St Joseph RC Primary
  • St Mary Abbots CofE Primary
  • St Mary's RC Primary
  • St Thomas CofE Primary
  • St Philip's School
  • Thomas Jones Primary

Secondary schools

Kensington and Chelsea College (Hortensia Centre) in Chelsea
  • Kensington and Chelsea Pupil Referral Unit
  • Ashbourne Independent Sixth Form College
  • Holland Park Schoolmarker
  • Queen's Gate School
Chelsea academy


Public libraries

Libraries include the Kensington Central Library, Chelsea Library, Kensal Library, Brompton Library, North Kensington Library and the Notting Hill Gate Library.


  1. Chelsea Name Retained: New Decisions on Three Boroughs. The Times. 3 January 1963
  5. " About Playfish." Playfish. Retrieved on 2 November 2009.
  6. " Summer in the Borough." Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Retrieved on 2 November 2009.
  8. " Libraries." Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Retrieved on 13 January 2009.

External links

  • Local community site.

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