D-Day 75 brought thousands of visitors to Portsmouth and the Queens Hotel in Southsea recorded its busiest week yet under its new management.
Owner Farid Yeganeh said the week of commemorations had brought a real boost for the hotel which is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound refurbishment.
Portsmouth was the focus for global media attention as veterans, world leaders including the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump and VIPs gathered for a glittering ceremony on Southsea Common.
"With our proximity to the festivities, we could have sold our rooms three times over such was the demand to be in Southsea.
"Our Reservations Manager Jason Wilson has been at the hotel for 16 years and he said it was the busiest time he had ever known," explained Farid, who leads the consortium that took ownership of the Queens Hotel in 2017.
To mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Queens Hotel staged a spectacular light show using the Edwardian building as the backdrop for patriotic projected images as well as hosting a programme During World War 2, General de Gaulle stayed at the hotel for a long period and he could often be found on the terrace staring longingly towards France. Other wartime visitors included Sir Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower.
The highlight for everyone at the hotel occurred when coaches bearing veterans returning from the Normandy commemoration event came to the hotel.
Farid said: "We had arranged for the veterans’ cars to be parked here and on their return, they came into the hotel and were greeted by spontaneous applause from everyone who was there.
"It was really moving."
The summer season of Garden Parties, that the Queens has become famous for hosting on a Sunday, are also proving incredibly popular with more people attending than in previous years.
"We have broken the record for attendance already and we have only been going for a couple of weeks," added events social media co-ordinator Aina Sutka.
Garden party attendees are being asked to support the Queens Hotel’s chosen community partner, Southsea Skate Park, by making a £1 donation when attending the free summer music events.
More details of the Garden Parties programme can be found at www.queenshotelportsmouth.com
About the Queens Hotel
Southsea’s grandest hotel is undergoing a £7M refurbishment project that will safeguard her Edwardian splendour for future generations to enjoy. A painstaking work programme is revealing the original beauty of the building and bringing facilities right up to date.of nostalgic music events.