The Queen has officially opened a major new building in the City of London. On November 7th, Her Majesty visited the new Schroders Headquarters to mark a fresh chapter in the history of the firm which has traded in London for over two centuries.
The offices, which have already been used by the international asset management company for the past two months, are at the Barbican and during her time there, the Queen was given a tour showcasing how the building aims to blend the City of London’s history with its future. The headquarters have been designed with the very modern focus of sustainability but have also been built to accommodate two ancient parts of the capital – the Roman London Wall and the ruins of the medieval tower of St. Alphage’s Church have been incorporated into the building.
During her visit, the Queen met many of those working at the firm including those on the trading floor and the company’s longest serving employee. She also spent time chatting to apprentices who join Schroders as soon as they leave school and members of a military placement scheme which offers opportunities to former members of the Army. The Queen went on to hear about the work of a group focused on diversity in business.
The company has been part of the financial life of London since 1804 when Johann Heinrich Schroder joined the firm set up by his brother, Johann Friedrich. During her tour, the Queen was shown artwork made up of bonds and share certificates used by the business over the past 200 years.
The official opening ceremony was set around another piece of art in the new offices. Over 20,000 poppies have been worked together into a commemorative piece to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. The Queen viewed the display, created by a local florist and the Royal British Legion, which serves as a tribute to all those killed and injured in the conflict.
The Queen was given three cheers after unveiling a plaque at the culmination of her visit. Her next engagement will be on Saturday when she will lead the Royal Family at the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London.