Set beside the River Thames, Richmond has been a Royal Borough since the reign of Edward I. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Palace at Richmond was a royal residence. Queen Elizabeth I spent a great deal of time at Richmond, and it was here that she died in 1603.
A consequence of this royal history is that Richmond is now blessed with more green and open spaces than any other part of London. Richmond Park and the Old Deer Park were originally enclosed for hunting, and today Richmond Park is a national nature reserve and an area of special historic interest.