most famous address in the world
”No. 10 Downing Street”, many people say that this is the most famous address in the world, but the question is why is it an “address”? Think about it, the White House, Zhongnanhai, the Palace of Versailles, the Kremlin… Is there any official residence of the leader of a major country in the world that has an address? Even if there is, it must be covered by the famous name of this palace or that mansion. Only the place where the British Prime Minister works and lives is not called the Prime Minister’s Office, but is known for its address, which looks like a private house. But in fact, it looks like a residential house.
10 Downing Street (English: 10 Downing Street), located in Downing Street next to Whitehall in the Westminster district of Westminster, London, the capital of the United Kingdom, is a Georgian-style building. Historically, it was the official residence of the first chancellor of the exchequer, but since then, it has become the official residence of the British prime minister, which is generally considered today. Its plain black wooden door, adorned with white Arabic numeral “10”, has become a well-known mark. Out of curiosity, the author recently walked into Downing Street in London, England.
Downing Street is located in front of Parliament Street, in the southwest corner of Whitehall, where important and confidential places such as the Prime Minister’s Office are located. Since 1989, for security reasons, iron gates have been installed at the entrance of Downing Street and are no longer open to the public. Later, the government added an additional auxiliary gate outside the main gate, making it difficult for ordinary people to access.
In addition to the prime minister’s official residence and the prime minister’s office, No. 10 Downing Street is where the prime minister’s secretaries, assistants and advisers work. The Prime Minister formulates policies with his cabinet and think tanks at No. 10 Downing Street every day, and the general confidential departments, such as the Parliament, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are only a few minutes away from No. 10 Downing Street, so the Prime Minister can easily obtain Intelligence and connections. In addition, Buckingham Palace, where the monarch lives, is nearby, so that the prime minister can go to Buckingham Palace regularly to report political affairs to the monarch. There are different meeting rooms and dinner halls in the prime minister’s residence, where the prime minister often meets dignitaries from all walks of life and leaders of various countries. Therefore, No. 10 Downing Street symbolizes the center of the British government and is also one of the power cores of British politics.
Today’s No. 10 Downing Street is a combination of a “house behind the palace” and the original No. 10 Downing Street itself. The “house behind the palace” is a building built around 1530, while the original 10 Downing Street was a small town house built in 1685. In 1732, King George II of England bestowed the above two houses together to Robert Walpole (the first British Prime Minister commonly known by later generations) in recognition of his contributions. However, Walpole was unwilling to accept the award in his own name, but accepted it in the name of his official title, that is, First Chancellor of the Exchequer. As a result, “The House Behind the Palace” and 10 Downing Street became every First Chancellor of the Exchequer asset. From 1732 to 1735, Walpole commissioned renowned architect William Kent to connect the two buildings, which is known today as 10 Downing Street. Although No. 10 Downing Street is a royal gift from the monarch, due to its small size, long-term lack of maintenance, and being built on swampy soil, many prime ministers in history were reluctant to live in it, and some prime ministers even deliberately razed it. . In addition, since the position of the British Prime Minister was not clearly established until the 19th century, No. 10 Downing Street was often occupied by other officials in the past, and it could not be regarded as the real prime minister’s office at that time. However, today, No. 10 Downing Street has gradually become a symbol of the British Prime Minister, and it is a landmark of great historical value in London. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said in 1985 that 10 Downing Street had become “the most precious jewel in the national heritage”.
Since it was originally a private house on Downing Street, with the habits of British politicians, it would not be worthwhile to give it a grand name. What’s more, according to the standards of nobles at that time, it was really ordinary, the area was not too large, and the decoration was even more ordinary. Especially the foyer, which is still in use today, is as narrow as the living room of ordinary people. You really can’t believe that this is where the most powerful figures in the empire on which the sun never sets work and live. Even if Britain fell later, they would still be members of the G8 anyway. Because No. 10 Downing Street was too shabby, until the beginning of the 20th century, many wealthy prime ministers preferred to stay in their own homes and only used it as an office. For example, after defeating Napoleon, Wilson, the famous general, did not live in it for a day. But MacDonald, the first Labor Prime Minister, was different. For him who was born as a commoner, this was simply a mansion. He had a headache when he moved in in 1924, because he had no money to fill the building with furniture, and ended up asking his sister to spend £50 on the department store sale to buy bed linen and such. According to the regulations, the public doesn’t care about your prime minister’s personal appliances. Not only that, but if the Prime Minister wants to invite a chef to cook a few delicious dishes for his family to enjoy at night, he has to pay extra like going to a restaurant. Because the chef of No. 10 Downing Street is employed by the state, he is only responsible for necessary official lunches, refreshments and state banquets. He is not a personal servant that the prime minister can order at will. Therefore, in the history of No. 10 Downing Street, most prime ministers moved out poorer than when they moved in. When it comes to moving, no other country is more “cruel” than the UK. When the general election is over, the outgoing prime minister has to move out immediately so that the new prime minister can move in immediately. Sometimes he even has to clear all his belongings within a day or two in a hurry. The embarrassment can be imagined. Some people say that this is to abide by the tradition since Walpole, and not to confuse domestic and private property; but some people suspect that this is a play, in order to show off the glory of the British democratic spirit to the world.
There are about 60 rooms in 10 Downing Street, and all the fireplaces in it are made of marble. There are a total of seven main rooms on the basement level, while all rooms on the first floor have views of the back garden or St. James’s Park. The largest room in the ground floor was designated as Walpole’s study, which was 40 feet long and had many huge windows. This is called “His Excellency’s study” by Kent. It is very famous and often becomes the subject of many famous paintings and photos. Walpole’s study has now been converted into a cabinet meeting room, where the prime minister discusses government policy and international affairs with his subordinate ministers. On the fireplace behind the Prime Minister’s seat, there is a portrait of Walpole, which is the only portrait in the cabinet meeting room.
In the early days of World War II, wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his wife moved to the second floor of 10 Downing Street, while the Cabinet Office was relocated to a nearby bunker. It is worth mentioning that Churchill had an interesting habit when he was in the Prime Minister’s Office. Every morning and night, he would lie on the bed, smoke a cigar, and instruct his secretary to draft speeches, memorandums, and write letters. Although 10 Downing Street was constantly attacked during the war, the overall damage was not serious.
”Larry” is a tabby cat. If he hadn’t been recruited from London’s “Battersea Cats and Dogs Home” to the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street in February 2011 to become the “royal” mousecat, he might have always been a mousecat. Ordinary cat. Since entering the prime minister’s residence, Larry’s every move has been reported by the media and has attracted the attention of the world. According to the staff of the Prime Minister’s Office, Larry was adopted because he was “naturally born with a strong hunting instinct”. But unexpectedly, its nature seems to disappear after entering the prime minister’s office. When British Prime Minister Cameron invited Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith and Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson to discuss European economic issues, a rat entered the room during their meal and forced Cameron Lun used his silver fork as a weapon to throw at the rat, but unfortunately missed the target. The news that Larry captured the first mouse in his “term” also appeared in the British “Guardian” immediately. Despite being “neglected of duty” at times, Larry still lives a free life at 10 Downing Street: he sleeps on the side or walks freely when the prime minister takes photos with dignitaries from various countries; he stands in the prime minister’s office to welcome the Palestinian nation Police officers walked around the red carpet prepared for the visit of President of the Authority Mahmoud Abbas; at the Prime Minister’s residence, Larry wore a special bow tie in the color of the Union Jack to celebrate Prince William and Kate’s royal family wedding.