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NEWS Last modified on June 23, 2014

The Queen set to open new Terminal 2 at Heathrow

The Queen in front of Heathrow's old Queen's Building The Queen in front of Heathrow's old Queen's Building

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will this afternoon officially open the state-of-the art new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal.

The terminal started phased operations on June 4, but Her Majesty will cut the ribbon, almost 60 years after opening the original Terminal 2: The Queen’s Building.

Costing £2.5 billion, the terminal marks the latest phase of an £11 billion private sector investment that has transformed Heathrow, which it says is the ‘next step in the transformation of passenger service’.

This investment includes construction of Terminal 2A and B, Terminal 5 A, B and C, a new control tower, and the refurbishment of Terminals 3 and 4.

Heathrow Airport will welcome The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh to an opening ceremony attended by over 1,000 people who were either involved in the construction of the building or are part of the team now working in the new terminal.

Her Majesty will unveil a commemorative plaque while the UK Government Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, will also give a short address.

Terminal 2

The Queen will meet the chairman; chief executive and development director of Heathrow; the chief executives of the Star Alliance airlines; Luis Vidal, the lead and concept architect for Terminal 2; a group of prominent British retailers who have recently opened premises in the new terminal; and others involved in construction.

The original Terminal 2 which opened in 1955 was Heathrow’s first passenger terminal, and at the time it was the most modern airport facility of its day with silver service restaurants, a cocktail lounge and a roof-top viewing gallery.

In the years that followed the terminal witnessed the arrival of The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot.

But by the beginning of the 21st century it had outlived its intended purpose, as designed to welcome one million passengers, by the turn of the century it was straining under the weight of eight million travellers.

Aerial shot of Terminal 2: The Queen's Terminal

The opening of Terminal 5 in March 2008 created the opportunity to demolish the old building and make way for a modern terminal to replace Terminals 1 and 2.

Airlines will move into the new terminal in phases over the next six months, and it will eventually be home to 26 airlines – 23 members of the Star Alliance, as well as Aer Lingus, Germanwings and Virgin Atlantic Little Red.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow development director and chief executive designate, explains: “Heathrow is delighted to welcome Her Majesty to open her new airport terminal.

“Today is a celebration of the great work by many people and many organisations from across the country to create a new front door for the UK.

“The completion of the new Queen’s Terminal is the culmination of an £11 billon private investment programme that delivers a world-class hub airport that the UK can be proud of.”

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