On Thursday, 23rd March, HM The Queen, accompanied by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, will open the new headquarters of Metropolitan Police on Victoria Embankment, the latest building to be called New Scotland Yard. The royal party will be welcomed by Acting Commissioner Craig Mackey and Commissioner-Elect Cressida Dick. The Queen and Duke will then proceed past a display of police vehicles and two police horses into the building where they will view a selection of historical items, including a WWII uniform of a female PC and an operational order for the Coronation in 1953.
After watching a display by a bomb-disposal robot, the royal party will then go up to the upper floors in the building to see a series of displays covering “A Day in the life of the Met” this includes meeting search dogs and various uniformed and civilian personnel, including a forensic specialist. They will then see examples of crime scene plans and seized weapons before viewing the panorama of the Thames and the Westminster skyline from the balcony.
There will be a reception, where HM The Queen and Prince Philip will meet staff, bravery award winners, officers and partner organisations before returning to the ground floor. The Acting Commissioner will say a few words of thanks and The Queen will unveil a plaque and receive a posy before departing.
The Metropolitan Police were founded in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel, interestingly a Conservative statesman who at various times was Home Secretary and Prime Minister. The original two commissioners tasked with creating the force, Colonel Charles Rowan and Richard Mayne, were given a house 4, Whitehall Place. The first police station was at the rear of the house and opened out onto Great Scotland Yard. This new headquarters will be the third to be called New Scotland Yard, the force having moved twice before the first to offices elsewhere on Victoria Embankment and then in 1967 to the current offices in The Broadway.
A year later, the offices were graced with the iconic revolving sign designed by Edward Wright. This has now been moved to the new offices. The sign revolves around 5,000 times a day, and the revolving triangular shape and reflective steel lettering were designed to be ‘symbolic of the Met’s constant vigilance in guarding our safety’.