Commissioned by King Edward VII to commemorate Queen Victoria's death, and designed by Sir Aston Webb and completed in 1912, Admiralty Arch stands majestically at the North east end of The Mall.
This Grade I listed curved stone building has three arches and links The Mall to Trafalgar Square, adjoining the Old Admiralty Building. A Latin inscription along the top reads:
: ANNO : DECIMO : EDWARDI : SEPTIMI : REGIS :
: VICTORIÆ : REGINÆ : CIVES : GRATISSIMI : MDCCCCX :
(In the tenth year of King Edward VII, to Queen Victoria, from most grateful citizens, 1910)
Admiralty Arch plays an important role on ceremonial occasions, with processions such as royal weddings, funerals, coronations and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games passing through the central arch. The outer arches are used for vehicles and pedestrians.
The inside wall of the northernmost arch has a small protrusion like a human nose. It is at about waist height for anyone on horseback and is traditionally thought to honour the Duke of Wellington, known for having a large nose. Soldiers would rub the nose for good luck as they rode through the arch.
Admiralty Arch was refurbished in 2000 and occupied by the Cabinet Office. In 2012, the building was sold as a 125-year lease and plans were agreed by Westminster City Council to turn the building into a luxury hotel offering views over Buckingham Palace.