A – Z OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
D is for Downing Street
Today we are back in the United Kingdom to the capital of England, London.
The picture of 10 Downing Street is known all over the world as the headquarters of Her Majesty’s Government and is the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury which is an office now invariably held by the Prime Minister.
The building is situated in Downing Street in the City of Westminster in London. It is over three hundred years old and contains about one hundred rooms. There is a private residence on the third floor and a kitchen in the basement. The other floors contain offices and numerous conference, reception, sitting and dining rooms where the Prime Minister works, and where government ministers, national leaders and foreign dignitaries are met and entertained.
It has an interior courtyard; at the back there is a terrace that overlooks a garden of 0.5 acres (2,000 m2). It is adjacent to St. James’ Park and near to Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the British Monarch and the Palace of Westminster the meeting place of both houses of parliament.
The building was originally three houses and was offered to Sir Robert Walpole by George II in 1732. Walpole accepted on the condition that they be a gift to the office of First Lord of the Treasury rather than to him personally. Walpole commissioned the architect William Kent to join the three houses together.
Sir Robert Walpole (1676 – 1745)
Architect William Kent (1685 – 1748)
Prime Minister Gordon Brown with US President Barack Obama in the Pillared Room, 2009.
Pictures from Wikimedia Commons.
Great statesmen and women throughout 300 years
Have used this building for secrets and fears
If the walls could talk they would spill their secrets
Spoken in seriousness or dining at state banquets
The British bobby stands proud outside the door
Protecting our democracy and all who enter there
Through peacetime and through war
From near and far
The building is home to Prime Ministers
People from other countries sit in grand chambers
Overlooked by fine paintings, sculptures and furniture
A wealth of history contained therein
Rules and regulations and discipline
National and international business is complete
At the famous address of 10 Downing Street.