From Shakespeare’s Globe theater on the Thames to Camden’s British Library, Queen Elizabeth II. Elizabeth opened more than 100 buildings in London during her seventy years on the throne.
Between his coronation in 1952 and his death at the age of 96 last week, Britain’s longest-serving monarch cut the ribbon of new schools, transport lines, hospitals, theatres, bridges and government buildings.
During his long reign, he oversaw the shift of architectural styles in the capital from brutalist buildings on the South Bank to post-modern and high-tech buildings by star architects such as Norman Foster and Richard Rogers.
A list compiled by charity Open City includes more than 122 official openings and openings, ranging from the opening of the Queen’s Building at Heathrow Airport in 1955 to the Elizabeth Line earlier this year.
Here’s a selection from every decade.
The Queen’s reign was so long that she often returned to a building a second or third time to open up new additions or renovations. Cutty Sark, a Victorian tea clipper moored in Greenwich as a public attraction, was built by Queen II in 1955. It was opened by Elizabeth.
In 2007, in the middle of a major restoration project, the ship was severely damaged in a major fire, causing £10m in damage. Five years later, the Queen once again sailed the ship with Prince Philip, who had a long relationship with Cutty Sark.
Queen Elizabeth was the only reigning monarch to step on the tube. During its official opening in March 1969, he made a trip on the Victoria Line, bought his ticket at Green Park and went to Victoria. She was one of many new lines and stations she opened in London during her reign, including the modern Euston Station in 1968. She also opened the Docklands Light Railway in 1987 and the new Elizabeth Line in 2022 she.
Royal National Theater
In 1976, the Queen opened the National Theater in London’s South Bank, designed by architect Denys Lasdun. The building’s opening took place 25 years after the Queen laid a foundation stone on the site. At the ceremony, he said the new building will “create that special brand of magic that only theater can provide, and will delight people of all ages and walks of life.”
The Queen, along with Prince Philip, opened the Olivier, Lyttelton and Cottesloe (now Dorfman) theaters in the complex. The National Theatre officially won the ‘Royal’ award in 1990.
Other theaters opened by the Queen include Shakespeare’s Globe in 1991 and the new Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2011.
The Queen opened the new £153m Barbican Arts and Conference Center in the City on 3 March 1982, which forms part of the larger housing estate.
The largest arts center in Western Europe when it opened, the complex contained a concert hall for the London Symphony Orchestra and a theater for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
More than 3,500 people came to the opening night celebrations, which culminated in a spectacular fireworks display over the center’s lake.
“What has been created here must be one of the wonders of the modern world,” said the Queen, as she unfurled a plaque commemorating the Barbican’s inauguration.
National Gallery’s Sainsbury Wing
An extension of the 19th-century National Gallery at the northwest corner of Trafalgar Square, the Sainsbury Wing was opened by the Queen in 1991. Designed by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, the addition replaced an earlier plan that infuriated King Charles. Prince of Wales time.
Architect Ahrends Burton famously described Koralek’s plan as “like a monstrous stone in the face of a much loved and elegant friend.” Current plans to redesign Venturi Scott Brown’s Sainsbury Wing are never far from controversy, denounced by architects and environmentalists.
The Queen ‘dedicated’ the Millennium Bridge in May 2000, after its official opening was delayed as it was incomplete. The 325-metre-long suspension bridge crosses the River Thames at Bankside and was the first new crossing to span the Thames since the Tower Bridge opened in 1894.
Designed by architect Norman Foster, the bridge was closed for two years shortly after opening due to the swaying motion of pedestrians as it passed over it.
Lion enclosure, London Zoo
The Queen was the guardian of London Zoo and opened the ‘lion terraces’ with Prince Philip in 1976. The couple returned to inaugurate the ‘Lion Land’ exhibition in 2016 and have opened other enclosures at the attraction over the years.
ZSL London Zoo said in a statement that it will hold a special photography exhibition as a reminder that HM The Queen will be on display in the East Tunnel.
The last major London opening for the Queen was in May 2022, when she made a surprise appearance at the opening ceremony of the Elizabeth Line in her honor.
Fewer events due to mobility issues, the monarch attended the ceremony at Paddington Station to celebrate the completion of the £20 billion London cross-rail link.
At the station, “Elizabeth Line. It was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen on Tuesday, 17 May 2022, during Her Majesty’s Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.”