Queen opens new Reuters HQ

Source: Reuters

Queen Elizabeth today opened the new Reuters global headquarters in London's Canary Wharf and then promptly sent a despatch on the ceremony.

After touring the newsroom, meeting photographers and being introduced to clients, The Queen filed a story about the opening by pressing a button on the reception's main screen. The story appeared on the giant external Reuters news screen in Reuters Plaza.

The opening was the first royal visit to be webcast live, with live footage and commentary being carried on both Reuters corporate website, and the Buckingham Palace website.

The Queen's last official visit to Reuters was in 1963 when the Fleet Street newsroom was considered not fit for royal inspection.

"At the time, rather surprisingly, Reuters newsroom was felt to be too rough and tough an environment for the Queen to see. So we created a realistic but sanitised mock-up," said Reuters Group archivist John Entwisle. "This time Her Majesty has seen the real thing," he added.

Royalty's connections with Reuters date back to shortly after the foundation of the news agency.

Julius Reuter started his telegraph business in 1851 and was presented to Queen Victoria in 1860. Queen Victoria often mentioned his telegrams in her diaries, referring to him in an 1878 note to Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli as someone "who generally knows."

Reuters moved into its headquarters at 85 Fleet Street in 1939. Reuters now has 14,500 staff in 91 countries, with more than 2,300 journalists in 196 bureaux.

Reuters moved from its historic offices at 85 Fleet Street and other surrounding offices in the capital in the Summer of this year. The move consolidated 2,500 of Reuters London staff into a 280,000 square feet, 10-storey office at The Reuters Building, 30 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf.

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