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Behind the Name: Prince Edward Road

By Celia Lee 6 October 2023

Header image courtesy of Dua Grecviem (via Wikimedia Commons)

If you already know all about Hong Kong’s major landmarks, you will be interested to learn that the vibrant history of the city is often hidden in plain sight, surrounded by high-rises interspersed with traffic-packed streets.

With the best-kept historical secrets woven into the fabric of everyday life, location names are a big part of our rich cultural landscape, revealing some of the most interesting aspects of the past. From local pirates to a royal visit, our “Behind the Name” series explores a whole host of places in Hong Kong with fascinating stories behind their names.

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Prince Edward Road (太子道)

You guessed it right, Prince Edward Road is named after the British monarch Edward VIII—but there’s more to this story than meets the eye. In the early 1920s, the government was developing the Mong Kok District (which would eventually merge into the Yau Tsim Mong District) and wanted to connect this new neighbourhood to the already existing Kowloon City by constructing a new road.

Coincidentally, Edward VIII—then known as Prince Edward—visited Hong Kong in April 1922, and he made the construction site in the Mong Kok District part of his tour around the developing city. Because of this, the colonial government decided to name the road after the crown prince himself, a namesake that eventually extended to the area around it.

Prince Edward Road is divided into two sections: Prince Edward Road East and West. The eastern portion of the road, which connects Kowloon City with San Po Kong, went through several name changes itself, going from Sai Kung Road to Clear Water Bay Road and officially becoming Prince Edward Road East in 1979.

The western portion stretches between Tai Kok Tsui, Mong Kok, Kowloon Tong, and Kowloon City. Going by Edward Avenue (宜華徑; ji4 waa4 ging3; a loose phonetic translation of the English name) before 1924, and later Prince Edward Road (英皇子道; jing1 wong4 zi2 dou6; “British Prince Road”), the Cantonese name of the road was shortened to its modern-day variation, “太子道” (taai3 zi2 dou6; “Crown Prince Road”), in 1958. “West” was finally added to the street name in 1979.

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Celia Lee

Staff writer

Born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in the UK, Celia is passionate about culture, food, and different happenings in the city. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her scouting for new and trendy restaurants, getting lost in a bookstore, or baking up a storm at home.

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