A rather grand pub dating from 1897, now called something entirely unmemorable (The Bridge Lounge, see what I mean!) - but an old sign on a gable wall shows that it was once named after a neighbouring king.
The pub is on Tooley Street, not far from London Bridge, and in the shadow of the Shard.
Leopold II was Belgium's monarch at the time the pub was built, (yes, the one who was notorious for oppression and exploitation in Congo). I haven't found out whether he paid us a visit at this time. As you will have seen, the Belgian monarchy hasn't been faring much better in recent days.
There was of course a long and partly distinguished tradition of naming pubs, and more, after visiting royals - the 'Elephant and Castle' (a corruption of the Infanta of Castille, it's said) is the best known example, but I also remember the 'Empress of Russia' on St John Street in Clerkenwell. Alas, the Wikipedia page on pub names doesn't explore this minor trend in nomenclature beyond the Elephant and Castle.
And a short distance away, there's a wartime V-2 - not sure whether a mock-up, though I suspect it is rather than an original - on the wall of a building which is now a war experience museum. There are quite a lot of these sort of places in the bowels of London Bridge.
A worthwhile area to walk round - an interesting mix of old and new, with more buildings of character surviving than you might imagine. I don't know how long that will remain the case, so don't delay too long before you take a wander around.
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