The Queen, with The Duke of Edinburgh, opens the Francis Crick Institute


The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened the Francis Crick Institute - a world-leading biomedical research centre in the heart of London.

Her Majesty and His Royal Highness toured the building and viewed the atrium, where hundreds of scientists and support staff had gathered on the balconies to welcome them.

The Crick was formed on 1 April 2015 and is a registered charity. Its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King's College London. Construction of the new building for the Crick was completed in August 2016. Researchers from the Crick's legacy institutes are moving into the new Crick Lab in St Pancras in a phased process thatwill run until the end of the year.

The building was designed by HOK working with PLP Architecture and developed with input from scientists, local residents and community groups. To reduce its visible mass, one-third of the structure is below ground, with laboratories arranged over four floors above ground. The building has almost one million square feet of floor space (over 17 football pitches)

As part of the visit, The Queen and The Duke meet some of the 1250 scientists working at the Institute, dedicated to discovering the fundamental biology underlying human health, with the aim of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

The Queen has the opportunity to explore the Advanced Sequencing facility where she started the sequencing of Sir Paul Nurse's DNA – his genome, before being joined by The Duke of York to listen to a short lecture on the influenza virus in the Wellcome Auditorium.

Finally the Royal party met portrait artist Robert Ballagh and unveiled a portrait of Francis Crick, before The Queen unveil a plaque to mark the opening of the Institute.

Find out more about the Francis Crick Institute on their website.