The Opening of London Bridge

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A few years afterwards, on Monday, June 14th, 1814, the Prince Regent, accompanied by Alexander Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, Generals Blucher, Platoff, and a numerous suite, embarked from Whitehall Stairs on board the Admiralty barges, and proceeded down the river to Woolwich and returned the same way. This visit was in order that our illustrious guests might see the docks and shipping.

In 1831, On the 1st of August, their Majesties King William the Fourth and Queen Adelaide, attended by most of the Royal family, with the exception of H. R. H. the Duchess of Kent and Princess Victoria, came by water and opened the New London Bridge.

The river on that occasion was magnificent, crowded with State barges and innumerable boats; every place visible from the banks was filled with spectators.

There was a similar sight, for the last time, at the opening of the Coal Exchange, by Prince Albert, in 1849. When the Tower Bridge was opened in 1894 the State barges were missing from the display.

Another breathtaking view seen from the river, but of a very different character from the last, was the burning of the Houses of Parliament on the 6th of October, 1834, when all that remained of the old Palace of Westminster, with the exception of the Great Hall and Cloisters and Sir John Soane's Law Courts, was entirely consumed by fire. The new palace was opened by Queen Victoria in 1847.

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