Love at 800 feet: Man proposes to girlfriend on Shard's observation deck on opening day

 

A man who proposed to his girlfriend at the Shard has said he had no idea that Boris Johnson and a media pack would be on the observation deck at the same time.

When James Episcopou, 22, got down on one knee the moment was captured by a host of photographers.

The couple, from Epping Forest, Essex, got engaged moments after the Mayor of London cut a ribbon at the official opening of the highest vantage point in western Europe.

Mr Episcopou, a supervisor at John Lewis, said: "I've had it planned since July last year. When tickets first came out I thought I've got 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 asked if the presence of the media made him even more nervous, he replied: "There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to do it.

"For Laura it's made the day even more special. When people plan a proposal they think 'how can I make it special?'. I managed to do quite a good job."

Miss Taylor, a 22-year-old accountant, said: "I had no idea he had planned it. I thought we were going up to look at the view.

"James asked me to come over to him because some photographers would like to take our picture. The next moment he was on one knee and proposing. I was so shocked. I said 'yes, definitely', but then I was speechless."

The proposal took place on level 72 of the Shard, just over 800ft (244m) above the capital.

Mr Johnson had earlier described London's tallest building 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 airplane and looking down on London. But you can walk around, you've got complete stability.

"You can see all the bends in the river, you can see my office, you can see Buckingham Palace, you can see the whole thing for 40 miles around."

The Shard's architect, Renzo Piano, added: "This building is magic for a number of reasons.

"First, because it's in London, second, because it's so tall, and third, because this building is a part of London. It's a sense of London.

"It's sad when London is sad, it's joyful when London is brilliant and joyful."

On a clear day visitors to the Shard, which towers over the city at a height of 1,016ft, are promised a spectacular view of the capital.

But visibility was restricted for the dignitaries, journalists and members of the public attending the launch because of wet and cloudy weather.

Some 4,800 people paid for admission today - at £24.95 for adults and £18.95 for children.

Visitors to the attraction, on floors 68, 69 and 72, are whisked up in two high-speed lifts in around 60 seconds.

On a clear day they will be able to enjoy a 360-degree view of the capital's skyline, from a platform almost twice the height of any other in the city. With the help of specially designed telescopes they can pick out London's landmarks in the streets below.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices