23 FEBRUARY 2008

Meeting the Queen can be a nerve-wracking event – even for a heroic firefighter, it seems.

Angus Campbell tackled the would-be bombers of 21 July, 2005, on the London Underground. Yet he says last week's encounter, when the British monarch opened the London Fire Brigade's new headquarters in Southwark, left him more nervous.

"It was a huge honour and a real privilege to meet the Queen," said the 44-year-old fire officer. "But for me, it was more tense than confronting the would-be terrorists because I'm trained to deal with situations like that."

Mr Campbell was awarded the Queen's Gallantry medal for his efforts on 21 July, when a group of suicide bombers attempted to blow themselves up on the Tube. After helping a woman and child escape from a carriage, the Londoner tackled Ramzi Mohammed, who was later jailed for his role in the attempt.

Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen, wearing a soft-grey coat and matching hat to protect against the winter weather, unveiled a plaque to inaugurate the new building. Her father, George VI, had opened the brigade's previous HQ in 1937.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Queen meets members of the London Fire Brigade as she takes a walk in her father's footsteps to open the organisation's new headquarters Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Prince Philip joined his wife at the event, which saw them given a guided tour of the building, including the commissioner's conference room where major incidents are co-ordinated Photo: © Getty Images