VIP visitor launches Melton's 'Royal Mile'

A mile-long historical tour showcasing Melton’s unique royal links was officially launched over the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

By Nick Rennie
Monday, 6th June 2022, 10:08 am
Updated Monday, 6th June 2022, 10:24 am
Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur, launches the Royal Mile in King Street, with founder Matthew O'Callaghan (right) and local trader Michael Cooke
Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur, launches the Royal Mile in King Street, with founder Matthew O'Callaghan (right) and local trader Michael Cooke

Fittingly it was The Queen’s representative in Leicestershire, Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur, who did the honours, with research showing that more royal visitors have passed through Melton than any other town in the county or the city, itself.

The circular walk, starting at King Street off Melton’s Market Place, is designed as a tourist attraction to highlight the 19 monarchs who have visited since the Middle Ages.

They visited largely because in the Middle Ages what became known as The Great North Road was diverted East for 300 years to pass through Melton Mowbray, in front of St Mary’s Church across the Market Place and up King Street, where the ‘new’ Manor House of John de Mowbray was built in 1313.

The first recorded royal visit was on April 5, 1194 by Richard I (The Lionheart), accompanied by King William of Scotland.

This was followed over the years by visits from King John, Henry III, Edwards I, II and III, Henry IV and VI, Richard III and, finally, Henry VII in 1487.

It was only later with the growth of foxhunting that royal interest in Melton revived with visits by all but one of the monarchs since George IV – George IV, William IV, Victoria, Edward VII, Edward VIII, George VI and HM Elizabeth II.

Melton resident Matthew O’Callaghan, who established the walk, said: "I’m delighted that the Lord Lieutenant took time to visit Melton and to help us launch Melton’s Royal Mile.

"Many people are aware of Melton’s food heritage, reflected in the title ‘Rural Capital of Food’, but few know of our connection with the royal family over the years.

"It’s fitting therefore that we’ve established the walk and Melton’s royal heritage in this Jubilee year.

"Our aim is to ensure that Royal Melton features prominently in our future tourism offer.

"The route is on the Royal Melton website and on the ground is marked with banners featuring the letter M with a crown above it on a Meltonian Red.

Go online at www.royalmelton.com to find out more.