The Royal Children Inn. Castle-Gate
THE Royal Children gets its curious name from the children of Princess Anne. In 1688, when King James II.’s throne was tottering to its fall, Anne, his daughter, fled away from his court and refuged herself in Nottingham.
There she was very hospitably entertained at the Castle, and her popularity was such that she became the great toast of the whole neighbourhood.
There is a tradition that her children were accommodated in this inn, but whether that is true or not it is impossible to say. At any rate they were of such importance and popularity as to account for the curious sign of the inn.
The name " The Royal Children," is painted on the one piece of whale-bone that we have publicly displayed in Nottingham!
A couple of hundred years ago whale oil occupied the same place in everyday life that paraffin does nowadays, and the whale fisheries of Whitby and the other north-east ports were very prosperous.
Whaling skippers would distribute portions of the skeletons of their gigantic prey as advertisements here and there, hence the whale’s shoulder-blade which is seen in the picture as the sign of the inn.
When the old inn was demolished a year or two ago and the present building erected, this whalebone sign was incorporated.