Monday, April 9, 2012

The Latin words on Admiralty Arch at The Mall - what do they mean exactly

ANNO+DECIMO+EDWARDI+SEPTIMI+REGIS++VICTORI%25C3%2586+REGIN%25C3%2586+CIVES+GRATISSIMI+MDCCCCX+London+The+Mall+Admiralty+Arch

Unknown to many, Buckingham Palace's nineteen State Rooms, Ballroom and Garden are only open to the public only two months (August and September) of the year when the Queen visits Balmoral, her residence in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Tourists who descend onto London outside these two months would have to contend with the Changing of Guard, a must-see event that takes place daily during summer and every other day during the rest of the year at 11.30am. To better plan the visit, check Buckingham Palace's Changing of Guard schedule.

Immediately before and after the Changing of Guard takes place, the entire Mall (the straight road running from Buckingham Palace towards Trafalgar Square) will be closed to traffic. Take the chance to walk down The Mall from the Palace. Right at the northeastern end of The Mall lies the Admiralty Arch.

The massive Grade I listed building, which doubles up as the 'gate' to The Mall. Completed in 1912, there is a long Latin inscription at the top on the side facing Trafalgar Square.

ANNO DECIMO EDWARDI SEPTIMI REGIS VICTORIÆ REGINÆ CIVES GRATISSIMI MDCCCCX

I have often wondered what that means and did a search online. Apparently, in plain English, that would be "In the tenth year of King Edward VII, to Queen Victoria, from most grateful citizens, 1910".

King Edward VII, who is the first and the last British monarch to serve his entire reign under the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (his son - George V renamed it as House of Windsor after World War 1 broke out) unfortunately died in 1910 and did not live to see the completion of the monument that he had erected for his mother.

There you go, a small piece of history to impress your pals the next time you pass through the Admiralty Arch. For a list of other notable buildings in London, check out Five Hundred Buildings of London.


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