The chief stone was laid by Mr. Thomas Henry Fry, chairman of the Improvement Committee of the Corporation, on June 3, 1867, and on Saturday, November 6, 1869, the Viaduct was opened by Queen Victoria, who came, accompanied by Princess Louise, straight from Blackfriars Bridge, where she had just performed a similar ceremony. In spite of the weather, which threatened at first to be a repetition of the previous day, when London was enveloped in a fog, the crowd was the largest which had ever assembled to greet Her Majesty. On the Viaduct, the tiers of seats erected on either side were filled with a brilliant gathering invited by the Corporation. After the Queen had opened the bridge and departed, and the Corporation's guests had dispersed, the work of clearing away the stands and preparing for the real opening to the public was begun.
Punctually at nine on Monday morning the barrier across the roadway was removed, and at once there was a rush of vehicles whose drivers were eager for the honour of being first across the Viaduct. Thomas Grayson, driving one of the London General Omnibus Company's "City-Atlas" omnibuses, whipped up his horses and won an exciting