First Boris Johnson, then Liz Truss and now Rishi Sunak – we have seen three British Prime Ministers this year enter and exit 10 Downing Street, which is one of the most famous addresses in the world. But have you ever noticed there is no handle or person opening the door?
After delivering his first speech as the new Prime Minister, Indian-origin Rishi Sunak waved to the crowd and went towards the door (as seen in the video below). The door is seen opening itself without any intervention. So the question remains who opens the 10 Downing Street door?
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It turns out that the door of 10 Downing Street cannot be opened from the outside and does not have a keyhole. The door can only be opened from the inside by a guard who is stationed 24 hours a day. With today’s degree of security, communications, and CCTV surveillance, it is no surprise that only authorised and expected guests make it past the front door.
Apparently, the guard on duty also has a screen from where he can see what is happening outside and when to open the door. The door has a solid letter box and a big iron door-knocker.
Originally the door of the Prime Minister’s official residence was made from black oak but it was replaced with bulletproof metal after 1991’s Irish Republican Army (IRA) attack. The original door is presently on display in the Churchill Museum in the Cabinet War Rooms.
Rishi Sunak on Tuesday took over as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after accepting the King’s invitation to form the new government. The Indian-origin new PM promised to put the crisis-hit country’s needs “above politics” and “fix the mistakes” made by his predecessor Liz Truss.
In his first address at the doorstep of 10 Downing Street in London, Sunak said, “I will unite our country not with words but with action. I will work day in and day out to deliver for you.”
He also warned of “difficult decisions to come” and pointed to his record as the chancellor of the exchequer during the COVID pandemic to promise that he will bring that “same compassion to the challenges ahead”.