Belgrave Square is one of the largest and most grandiose 19th century Squares in London, and it was in the house of 24 Belgrave Square that Lord Pirrie, the chairman of the shipbuilding company Harland and Wolff, discussed with J Bruce Ismay about creating three Olympic-class liners.
The sister ships were known as RMS Olympic, RMS Titanic and RMS Britannic, and were built to rival Cunard Line’s Mauretania and Lusitania, which had been awarded the coveted Blue Riband accolade. It was the White Star Line’s aim to create the biggest and best vessels in the world, and with the help of Harland and Wolff they could do just that.
Little did Lord Pirrie and J Bruce Ismay know that one of those ships would result in one of the biggest disasters in maritime history. As RMS Titanic, the second of the Olympic class ships to be launched, struck an iceberg on 14th April 1912 during her maiden voyage. Departing from Southampton, the liner never made it to her destination of New York, as she sunk 375 nautical miles south of Newfoundland, Canada. 1,517 lost their lives that tragic night, whilst 705 people were rescued by RMS Carpathia on 15th April 1912.
Belgrave Square is therefore a reminder of three of the finest vessels to ever sail the seas, whilst it is a historical landmark for one of the world’s biggest tragedies.