THE DEATH OF DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES
(August 31, 1997 — Paris, France)
New Scotland Yard
(Metropolitan Police Headquarters)
The Official Story
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police (and informally as the Met Police, the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard), is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement and the prevention of crime in Greater London. In addition, the Metropolitan Police is also responsible for some specialised matters throughout the United Kingdom; these responsibilities include co-ordinating and leading national counter-terrorism measures and the personal safety of specific individuals, such as the Monarch and other members of the Royal Family, members of the Government, and other officials (such as the Leader of the Opposition).
The main geographical area of responsibilities of the Metropolitan Police District consists of the 32 London boroughs, but does not include the City of London proper — that is, the central financial district also known as the “Square Mile” — which is policed by a separate force, the City of London Police. As the force responsible for a police area that is also the capital of the United Kingdom, the Met has significant unique responsibilities and challenges, such as protecting 164 foreign embassies and High Commissions, policing London City and Heathrow Airports, policing and protecting the Palace of Westminster, and dealing with significantly more protests and events than any other force in the country, with 3,500 such events in 2016.
The force, by officer numbers, is the largest in the United Kingdom by a significant margin, and one of the biggest in the world. Leaving its national responsibilities aside, the Met has the eighth-smallest police area (primary geographic area of responsibility) of the territorial police forces in the United Kingdom.
The force is led by the Commissioner, whose formal title is the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. The Commissioner is answerable, responsible and accountable to The King, the Home Office and the Mayor of London, through the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. The post of Commissioner was first held jointly by Sir Charles Rowan and Sir Richard Mayne. Sir Stephen House is the current Acting Commissioner; he succeeded Dame Cressida Dick in April 2022.
A number of informal names and abbreviations are applied to the Metropolitan Police Service, the most common being “The Met”. The Met is also referred to as Scotland Yard after the location of its original headquarters in a road called Great Scotland Yard in Whitehall. The Met’s current headquarters is New Scotland Yard, situated on the Victoria Embankment.
Operation Paget was the British Metropolitan Police inquiry established in 2004 to investigate the conspiracy theories about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997. The inquiry’s first report with the findings of the criminal investigation was published in 2006. The inquiry was wound up following the conclusion of the British inquest in 2008, in which a jury delivered its verdict of an “unlawful killing” by the driver and the pursuing paparazzi.
New Scotland Yard
New Scotland Yard, formerly known as the Curtis Green Building and before that as Whitehall Police Station, is a building in Westminster, London. Since November 2016, it has been the Scotland Yard headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), the fourth such premises since the force’s foundation in 1829. It is located on the Victoria Embankment and is situated within the Whitehall Conservation Area. It neighbours the Norman Shaw and Ministry of Defence buildings, together with Richmond House and Portcullis House.
The New Scotland Yard building was designed in 1935 by the English architect William Curtis Green, who was commissioned to build an annexe to the existing Norman Shaw North building, which had been the Metropolitan Police’s headquarters since 1890. Together with the Norman Shaw South building, the three sites were split off in 1967, with the Norman Shaw buildings being taken over by the British Government and the Curtis Green annexe being retained by the police. The earlier annexe, built at the rear of the Norman Shaw South building in 1898 by the Met’s surveyor and principal architect John Dixon Butler, was retained as a police station and used operationally until 1992.
In 2013, as a result of an estate reorganisation, the former “New Scotland Yard” in the neighbouring Broadway was sold and the force headquarters was relocated to the Curtis Green Building after extensive renovations. It was renamed New Scotland Yard in 2016.