With 9 million residents and 300 languages spoken, enchanting green spaces and on-point fashion trends… London is a real paradise for creative entrepreneurs, students, art lovers and foodies alike. No wonder it has the busiest airport system, it is the world’s most visited city! Every region has its unique quirks and little-known facts and this multicultural hub is no exception. Here are a few things you never knew about London…
Many American celebrities own homes in England’s largest city
Walking the streets of London, you could brush shoulders with famous folks from across the pond. Several American celebrities own homes in the city’s many high-end neighborhoods… Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is reported to own a $7 million mansion in Belsize Park, which puts her in close quarters with American filmmaker Tim Burton (the mastermind behind Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands). Up the way in Kensington and Chelsea, you may spot singer Madonna. Country/pop singer Taylor Swift also makes frequent appearances to London to visit her British boyfriend, Joe Alwyn…
Ravens are required to live in the Tower of London at all times
The historic castle – located on the River Thames’ north bank in central London – has seven ravens living inside at all times. Six are required, but there is a reserve raven in case one of them escapes. Superstition? Truth? The tradition dates back to King Charles II, who claimed the tower would fall if the ravens escaped. The birds’ names are Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Erin, Poppy and Merlina. According to the Historic UK website, they are fed raw meat and blood-soaked bird biscuits each day…
London is home to the world’s most valuable poker chip
Londoners are known for their lavish tastes, as can be seen in many of the city’s high-end destinations. That’s why it may not surprise you to learn that the most expensive poker chip ever invented came to exist at a London casino. Valued at $10 million, it is a historical collectors’ item that is quite sought after by poker enthusiasts. A holy grail of sorts!
The Queen’s location is pretty much always marked with a special flag
Queen Elizabeth II uses two similar flags that may only be flown at a location when she is present. One design is for use in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and overseas. The other is only flown in Scotland. The flags fly at the royal palaces when the Queen is staying in them. Her car, ship and aeroplane also sport the flag. When the queen visits any given building, the flag may also be flown there.
London is the largest and smallest city in England
London is widely known as England’s largest city and that is technically true. However, the actual city of London only encompasses 1.2 square miles, with a population of around 7,500 residents. Greater London, however, covers 606 square miles and is made up of surrounding towns. This region as a whole is what most people are referring to when they speak about London.
Billionaires abound in London
According to Investopedia, more than 80 billionaires call London home. The city has more ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city on the planet. Together, they are worth $497.6 billion. New York is only second on the list with 56 people who have 10-plus figure bank accounts….
Tuck these fun facts away for the next time you are in need of a conversation-starter, and you will look pretty beast (British slang for “very cool”).