Business as usual for Queen at BBC
It was business as usual for the Queen as she declared the BBC's revamped state-of-the-art Broadcasting House officially open.
The Queen - without the Duke of Edinburgh, who was undergoing an exploratory operation - had earlier toured the major new extension to the broadcaster's London headquarters and even listened to a live performance by the pop group The Script.
In a short address broadcast live by the BBC and around the globe via the World Service, she referred to a previous visit to Broadcasting House with her husband shortly before her coronation 60 years ago.
She said: "I was struck then, as I am now, by the sheer pace of change which has transformed your industry over the past 60 years, years during which broadcasting has enriched our lives in so many ways."
The building cost just over a billion pounds and took a decade to complete. Hundreds of BBC staff lined an open atrium for the Queen's arrival and some cheered as she stepped from her chauffeur-driven limousine.
She visited the studios of Radio 4's Today programme, where she spoke to listeners, and listened to a live performance in the Radio 1 studio, giving a single clap at the end of the performance.
Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, who greeted the Queen with the BBC's director general Tony Hall, said: "The BBC's broadcast of the Coronation in 1953 was the first major national TV event which brought the nation together around their TV sets for the first time, so nothing could be more appropriate than Her Majesty opening new Broadcasting House today.
"It provides us with a building which brings together the heart and soul of the BBC and its journalism in one place for the first time; and whose benefits we hope will be reflected in great output for audiences in years to come."
The Queen gave a live broadcast on a BBC Radio 4 programme about the development called New Broadcasting House, presented by James Naughtie and Sian Williams.
She said: "Thank you, director general. It is a great pleasure to visit the BBC today, and to see it in its new home. I remember first coming to Broadcasting House with my father the King and my mother and sister shortly before the war. I came again with the Duke of Edinburgh shortly before the coronation in 1953. I hope this new building will serve you well for the future and I am delighted to declare it open today."