Out & About: Admiralty Arch
Commissioned King Edward VII in memory of Queen Victoria, Admiralty Arch was designed by Sir Aston Webb, who was also responsible for The Mall and main facade at Buckingham Palace. Completed in 1912, it adjoins the Old Admiralty Building and has served not only as the official residence of the First Sea Lord, but also as a centre for clandestine wartime intelligence efforts, a Royal Navy outpost, and as a centre for the UK Government's Cabinet Office.
As the main entrance from Trafalgar Square to The Mall, Admiralty Arch plays an important role on ceremonial occasions such as processions at royal weddings, funerals, coronations and other public processions which pass through it. The central archway is reserved for use by royalty.
The Latin inscription along the top reads:
: ANNO : DECIMO : EDWARDI : SEPTIMI : REGIS :
: VICTORIÆ : REGINÆ : CIVES : GRATISSIMI : MDCCCCX :
(In the tenth year of King Edward VII, to Queen Victoria, from most grateful citizens, 1910)
In 2011, the building became vacant and was put up for sale. In October 2012, the winning bidder was reported to be Spanish real estate developer Rafael Serrano, who plans to turn the property into a 100 room luxury hotel.