Downing Street has such an unassuming name and yet it is known all over the world for being home to the British Prime Minister. Number ten houses the PM, the Chancellor of the Exchequer resides next door at number eleven and number nine is occupied by the Chief Whip. This relatively small Georgian terrace is situated off Whitehall, within easy walking distance of the Houses of Parliament.
Ten Downing Street is famous for its black door for two reasons. First, it is permanently occupied by a uniformed police officer. Second, it can only be opened from the inside – but luckily for anyone who might forget their keys, there is always someone inside.
It is no longer possible for the public to enter Downing Street as it was cordoned off during Margaret Thatcher’s rule. However, it is possible to peer through the metal gate and see the various buildings and the Prime Minister’s front door, complete with its fancy fanlight and ornate entry lamp.
Interestingly, a number of Prime Ministers have chosen not to live in Number Ten. For instance Tony Blair, swapped with Gordon Brown, the then Chancellor, and lived next door instead in order to accommodate his growing family.
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