In April 1920, the Prince of Wales visited the Hotel Del Coronado and prompted a historical question: Did he meet the woman for whom he’d give up a Kingdom at the Del? Wallis, future Duchess of Windsor, lived in Coronado in 1920 with her Naval Officer husband, Earl Spencer, Jr., and was photographed in 1920 at Coronado’s polo field. Future Princesses take note: Watching men playing polo appears to be a prerequisite for marrying a Prince.
In Splendid Summer, the first in a series of romantic cozy mysteries set in San Diego’s in the 1920s, Grace Wentworth looks at some of the choices on the menu for lunch in the Hotel Del Coronado’s Crown Room: Turtle Soup, Fillet of Sole, Prime Rib, Sweet Potato, Asparagus Hollandaise, and Assorted Petit Fours. Musicians played in booths above the diners in the Crown Room. The booths are still there but the musicians apparently left a long time ago.
Classic movie star Charlie Chaplin could be seen in Coronado during the Roaring Twenties. Movie stars mingled at the Hotel del Coronado and made movies on the island. Guests could even watch “moving pictures” —- the new entertainment medium—- at the Del. And the Del had its own casino. A socialite living at the Hotel del Coronado reportedly said, On waking each morning, you feel happy to be alive!
The Coronado Historical Association’s volunteer docents lead historical tours of the magnificent Hotel Del Coronado on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit www.coronadohistory.org