After Queen Victoria's death, her son Edward VII ascended the throne, establishing the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty as the ruling house of the Great Britain. However, in 1917, due to strong anti-German sentiments brought in by the First World War, King George V changed the name of his house to the House of Windsor, which has been ruling England ever since. In 1903 not far from Westminster Abbey, the Westminster Cathedral was built to serve as residence for archbishop of the Anglican Church.
In 1915 London was bombed for the first time. From September 1940 to May 1941 the city was bombed without stop, destroying 3,5 million houses. This period is known as London Blitz. In 1952 Elisabeth II becomes Queen of the Great Britain. In 1956 the Clean Air Act was adopted, and dense London fog, made known to the world by Dickens, Galsworthy and Conan Doyle, becomes history. London is surprisingly clean, green and neat. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones make their musical debuts in London in 1960.
Today London is divided into 33 administrative regions (boroughs of London), twelve of which and the City form the Inner London. Newer buildings far outnumber the historic structures of London, but even the famous and controversial London Gherkin cannot outshine the beautiful dome of Saint Paul's Cathedral. In 1986 the London headquarters of Lloyd Bank acquired a new glass-and-steel building designed by the architect who worked on Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
London boasts countless museums with rare and varied collections, including the world-famous British Museum, The National Gallery, Science Museum and many others. London is also a child-friendly destination: London museums house the largest collections of dollhouses, toy trains and varied toys, and the largest toy store in Europe is also found here.
London gazed into the new millennium with its new symbol, the giant ferris wheel London Eye. There is no doubt that London will surprise the world once again in 2012, when it hosts the Summer Olympic Games for the third time.
The article by Irina Sukharnikova, translation by Ekaterina Ryabova; specially for Sweet Home Abroad