After a major improvement scheme in the
Royal Albert Hall that lasted several years and cost over
60 Million pounds, Her Majesty the Queen inaugurated the
new building on the 30th of March in the presence of a
1000 invited seat holders. Mr. Dangoor was among those
who were presented to the Queen, who had a long chat with
She asked him to show her where he sits in the hall. Mr.
Dangoor usually writes to the Queen a follow up letter
after a presentation, and the following is the letter
he wrote her on this occasion.
May it please your Majesty.
The Story Behind the interview
I was greatly honoured to be presented to your Majesty
the Queen in the presence of my wife and 2 sons, during
your memorable visit to the Royal Albert Hall last Tuesday.
You graciously inquired about my seat in the Hall and
I wish to relate to your Majesty how I had acquired my
box. In 1967 the fortunes of the Hall were at its lowest
and when I went to a property auction, two of the five-seater
boxes were for sale. One box was knocked down to me for
the princely sum of £250 but no one made a bid for
the other box. I donated my box to my charitable foundation,
which sold it for £25,000 and that box is now worth
£250,000. One wonders if property pries can go even
higher, but the huge improvement in seat prices explains
the massive work of the Council of the Hall in recent
Another anecdote is that after I bought my box I inquired
at what figure the Hall was insured, and I was surprised
to learn that it was only insured for its original building
cost, which I believe was £100,000. I suggested
to the Council that they should review the cover, and
they decided to increase it to £100 million. Strangely
enough the premium was increased by very little as the
Fire Brigade held the hall as one of its highest priorities.
When I reported a small fire some time ago in our mansions
next to the Hall, 9 fire engines dashed to the scene in
Your Majesty also commented that since I live next door
to the Hall we did not need to walk far to attend concerts.
In fact, when they are playing the 1812 Overture on the
defeat of Napoleon we don't have to go to the Hall at
all, but we open our windows and listen to the cannon
and bells of that popular piece of music.
Allow me, Madam, to enclose a photograph taken by my
son, which includes a lovely picture of your Majesty.
We missed the pleasure and honour of seeing His Royal
Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, who has been in great
demand recently. Only two weeks ago I had the honour to
be presented a scroll by His Royal Highness at the Board
of Deputies President's Dinner held at the Park Lane Hotel.
I beg to remain, Madam, your most loyal and humble servant,
as on my return to Baghdad I shall be able to retain dual