Queen reopens new-look Canada House

With great fanfare The Queen reopened Canada House following a stunning £130 million refurbishment. The monarch was tracing the footsteps of her grandfather King George V, who opened the imposing building on Trafalgar Square in 1925.

The Queen’s Personal Canadian flag was raised over Canada House for the Royal Visit, and she and the Duke of Edinburgh were greeted by Mounties dressed in ceremonial red tunics, astride George and Elizabeth – two horses that were gifts presented to the Queen from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird presented the Queen with a ceremonial key made of Canadian gold, a replica of the key presented to King George 90 years ago.

In the presence of High Commissioner Gordon Campbell and staff, the Queen signed the Royal Signature Book that her grandfather signed in the atrium, now named the Queen Elizabeth Atrium.

The Royal couple was given a tour of the re-developed building which brings together all the High Commission staff under one roof for the first time in 50 years. The redesign has created a modern working space for staff and is also a showcase for contemporary Canadian design, featuring more than 200 pieces.

“Canada House serves as our country’s front door to the United Kingdom,” said High Commissioner Campbell. “This revitalisation project offered us an ideal opportunity to bring the best of Canada straight to the heart of one of the world’s great cities.”