London SE1 > News & Features > May 2000

Tate Modern: Queen opens flagship developments

It has finally arrived; we can now talk about Tate Modern in the present tense.

The Queen, who in 1963 opened the Bankside Power Station, will return to Bankside on Thursday 11 May to open the Tate Modern within the same landmark building.

The Royal opening is at 11am and will be shown live on BBC1. There will also be live broadcasts in the evening during the opening party which will include a light show on the north side of the building from 9pm. This will best be viewed from the riverside walkway on the City of London bank.

Tate Modern opens to the public at 10am on Friday 12 May and admission is to be free.

Meanwhile the Bankside Residents' Forum and Southwark Council will be monitoring crowd and traffic movements to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum during the summer months when thousands of visitors are expected.

Bankside residents have already viewed the interior of Tate Modern during a special preview evening last month. Following a visit to the top floor cafe there was an opportunity to explore the building and enjoy the unexpected views. The top floor is higher than the original roof which was inspected by some residents when the Tate first acquired the building.

Last minute preparations for completing building and furnishing work include the addition of an illuminated hat on the famous chimney.

The Royal visit to the Tate will come just two days after the Queen is due to officially open the Millennium Bridge. Her Majesty will attend a service at 11am in St Paul's Cathedral on Tuesday 9 May and afterwards make her way to the new bridge. Music is to be provided by students from the Guildhall School of Music and the nearby City of London Boys' School who will be on barges beneath the bridge.

During the ceremony the Bishops of London and Southwark are due to meet on the bridge to symbolise the close partnership of the two central London dioceses.

Also taking part will be both the Lord Mayor of London and the Mayor of Southwark representing two riverside councils which are working together as part of the Cross River Partnership.

  • We have also launched a set of Tate Modern pages on our website at providing links to other Tate-related resources.
  • The Millennium Bridge will open to the public next month, after the HSBC Millennum Bridge Walk in aid of Save the Children on Saturday 10 June. Call 020 7252 4141 to register or visit the website at
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