31 Dec 2011

Mi6 Headquarters / Old war office, Whitehall - London

The last entry of 2011 will cover a genuine London location in honour of SkyFall, which will also be set in Whitehall for a few scenes. SkyFall will premiere in 2012 (26 oct), the 50th anniversary of the cinematic James Bond.

The first time 'the old war office building' at Whitehall was used as the exterior of Bond's office was in Octopussy 1983. In some of the earlier films, various pars of London had been used to symbolize Mi6, though Bond has never been seen entering his office in the series. In the background you can see Trafalgar square and Lord Nelson.
The building is neo-baroque and was finished in 1906. It is still in use by the Ministry of Defence and therefore not open to the public.

The old war office building is situated at Whitehall, right across from the Horse Guards and housed the war office between 1906 and 1964. The War office was a department of the British Government. It was responsible for the administration of the British army for over 400 years, from the 17th century until it was abolished in 1964. Its functions were then transferred to the Ministry of defence. 

A view to a kill
In A view to a kill we briefly see a changing of the guards before the camera turns over to M's office window. A mounted trooper from the Blues and Royals is seen marching off. These mounted troopers are part of The British Houshold Cavalry which is made up of two regiments of the British armed forces. 
These two regiments are the Life Guards and the Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons, called the Blues and RoyalsThe regiments have traditions dating back from 1660 and acts as the Queen's personal bodyguard.

In the middle of the street, between the old war office building and the horse guards is a statue of the 2nd Duke of Cambridge who served as Commander-in-Cheif of the British army between 1856 to 1895.
The Blues and Royals were formed in 1969 from the merger of the Royal Horse Guards, which was known as the Blues, and the Royal Dragoons, known as The Royals. The Colonel-in-Chief is Her Majesty The Queen and the mounted troopers can still be seen outside the horse guards and opposite the old war office today.

Licence to Kill
The old war office seen for the last time - 1989
In The living daylights, the Malaysia house at Trafalgar square, was used as the exterior of Mi6, but Whitehall would then return in Dalton's second and last film Licence to killWe only get a brief glimpse of the HQ and this is the last time 'The old war office' featured as Bond's office in the series. Six years later in GoldenEye and during the rest of the Brosnan era, the real Mi6 HQ at Vauxhall was used for the establishing shots of Bond's office. The real Mi6 Headquarters will be covered later.
You see less and less of the famous London doubledecker buses nowadays. Almost every bus have been retired and replaced with modern and more 'passenger safe' ones. But you can still see a few on some routes if you're lucky.

Mina vänner, Gott nytt år
Happy new year


  1. Singapore Tracking Station2 January 2012 at 07:32

    Lovely post! Keep up the good work in 2012!