UK & World News
The Shard Opens Viewing Deck To Visitors
Thousands of tourists with a head for heights have scaled one of Europe's tallest skyscrapers for the first time.
Among the visitors to The View from The Shard on its opening day were James Episcopou, who proposed to his girlfriend Laura Taylor more than 240m above the ground.
The 22-year-old got down on one knee moments after the Mayor of London officially opened the panoramic viewing platform on level 72 of the 310m (1,016ft) tower.
He said he had "no idea" Boris Johnson - and a host of journalists and photographers - would be there to share the moment.
"I've had it planned since July last year," he said. "When tickets first came out I thought I had to buy them. It's the perfect place to propose.
"Laura means everything to me and I wanted to make her feel on top of the world.
"We had no idea the media were going to be there, but when we arrived we saw Boris Johnson and there were cameras everywhere.
"When people plan a proposal they think 'how can I make it special?' I managed to do quite a good job."
Mr Johnson described The Shard's observation deck as "a most amazing place".
He said: "I don't think there's anything in London like this. It's the closest thing to being in an aeroplane and looking down on London.
"You can see all the bends in the river, you can see my office, you can see Buckingham Palace, you can see the whole (city) for 40 miles around."
Some 4,800 people visited The Shard on its opening day, paying up to £24.95 for a ticket.
On a clear day, visitors are promised spectacular views of the capital - but visibility has been hampered by wet and cloudy weather so far.