Her Majesty The Queen unveils plaque to celebrate 20th anniversary of channel tunnel opening
On Thursday 5 June 2014, Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, unveiled a plaque at St Pancras International station to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel and the launch of international high speed rail services between the UK and mainland Europe, Mr Jacques Gounon represented Groupe Eurotunnel at this unique ceremony.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were welcomed at St Pancras International station by Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive of Groupe Eurotunnel and British managers, Rob Holden, Chairman of HS1, Clare Hollingsworth, Chairman of Eurostar and also William Hague, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Harlem Désir, France’s Secretary of State for European Affairs and Bernard Emié, French Ambassador to the UK, Graham Fagg and the crew member of the first shuttle in 1994 also took part in the ceremony.
This ground-breaking project heralded the start of a new era of collaboration and innovation and has transformed links between the UK and the Continent.
Jacques Gounon, Groupe Eurotunnel SA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Since the opening of Eurotunnel, 65 million vehicles and 330 million people have already travelled through the Tunnel, bringing substantial economic benefits to the UK and Europe. For us, the 20th anniversary opens a new chapter with a great development potential”.
The unveiling of the plaque preceded the State Visit of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh to France from 5 to 7 June at the invitation of the President of France, François Hollande to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings and will be received at the Élysée Palace by President Hollande.