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THE PALACE ON THE PACIFIC: ROYALTY AT THE DEL
Coronado, CA -The Hotel del Coronado, Southern California’s famed seaside resort, received its first royal visitor just two years after the hotel opened, when Hawaii’s King Kalakaua came to call during his 1890 tour of California. Kalakaua, who was Hawaii’s last king, was the first ruling monarch to visit the United States and a longtime friend of hotel owner, John D. Spreckels
Thirty years later, another royal, England’s Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward), was feted at The Del; he would ultimately give up his throne to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée who was living in Coronado at the time of the Prince’s 1920 visit.
In 1938, Akihito, the five-year-old son of Hirohito, the emperor of Japan, visited The Del, where he enjoyed fishing off the resort’s breakwater (today, Akihito is the ruling emperor of Japan).
Princess Pignatelli (country of origin unknown) and daughter Stephanie, who lived in Los Angeles, visited in 1950. According to the hotel’s July 27th guest newsletter, also in residence at that time were some Hollywood royalty, including Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, Mr. and Mrs. William Powell, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and Rosalind Russell and her husband.
Nazli, Queen Mother of Egypt, visited in 1955, accompanied by her daughter, Princess Rathia and son-in-law Riad Ghali, as well as Her Imperial Highness Princess Fatima (sister of the Shah of Iran) and Prince David M’Dviani. Nazli (who owned a home in Bel Air) and her entourage had stopped at The Del en route to Mexico when they received word that some of the party’s foreign travelers would not be allowed into Mexico because they were without proper documentation. As a result – according to a San Diego newspaper – “Governor Malonado and other high Mexican dignitaries joined them at Coronado [in the “elegant” Crown Room] and royally entertained them there instead.”
Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan (brother of King Hussein) visited in 1973.
Vittorio Emanuele IV, Italy’s crown prince-in-exile, visited in 1974. As a 1999 magazine reported, “Never mind that they’ve been living in exile for more than half a century, Italy’s flashy royal family still carries some cachet.”
Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia visited c.1980.
Baron and Baroness von Thyssen-Bornemisza visited in 1985. Baron Hans Heinrich (1921-2002) was a Dutch-born Swiss citizen with a Hungarian title who lived in Spain; his wife was a former Miss Spain (1961).
Princess Christina of Sweden visited in 1988. The Princess, who was in the United States in honor of a yearlong celebration of the 350th anniversary of the first Swedish colony in America, was accompanied by her husband and enjoyed a reception and dinner during her stay at The Del.
Prince Frederic Von Anhalt (country of origin unknown) accompanied Zsa Zsa Gabor to the hotel’s centennial celebration in 1988.
Prince Khalik Fiafel al Saud of Saudi Arabia visited in 1994.
Sarah, Duchess of York, visited c.2000.
Founded in 1992, KSL Resorts manages six time-honored resorts with outstanding recreational amenities, including spa, golf, tennis and ski. Each is refined yet unpretentious, rich in legacy, and genuine in service. The KSL Resorts are:
Hotel del Coronado (San Diego, CA)
La Costa Resort and Spa (Carlsbad, CA)
Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa (Rancho Mirage, CA)
Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa (Vail, CO)
Barton Creek Resort & Spa (Austin, TX)
The Homestead (Hot Springs, VA)
For more information, call 1-866-KSL-7727 or visit KSLResorts.com.