Queen Victoria Memorial Melbourne

Queen Victoria Memorial, public art, James White, Melbourne

Public Art : Queen Victoria Memorial

Sculptor : © James White

Date Unveiled : The Queen Victoria monument was unveiled on the 24th May (her birthday and Empire Day), 1907, six years after her death. The monument was unveiled by Lieutenant Governor Sir John Madden.

Description: The total height of the Queen Victoria monument is 10.9m high. The top statue of the queen is 3.9m high and was carved from Carrara marble. The four statues beneath represent four major events in the queen's life : birth, accession to the the throne, marriage and death.

Location: You can't miss it, it's in Queen Victoria Park, Melbourne.

Funded : The total cost of the Queen Victoria monument was £7,000 and was funded by public subsciption.

History of The Queen Victoria Memorial : The original idea to have a statue erected in honor of Queen Victoria began in 1853 but would not eventuate until 1907.

Queen Victoria Memorial Controversy : Seems where ever Queen Victoria statues are erected, trouble soon follows. Nature of the beast I guess. This statue was no exception. Sculptor James White pretty much ruined his career over it. Not only did he have most of the sculpting done in Italy, many complained his version of the queen looked "periously close to caricature" ouch! When quizzed about using sculptors (and materials) from Italy, White replied " with the skilled labour available in this country, the statues for the memorial could not be finished for five to six years." That didn't go down at all well.

So Who Was Queen Victoria? : Queen Victoria (1819 -1901) was the longest reigning monarch of Britain (total of 63 years, seven months and two days), denying her son Edward VII the throne for nearly 65 years. Her other claim to fame was that during her rule the British Empire was in virtual peace, no wars or major conflicts. It became known as the 'Pax Britannica' or 'British Peace'. The love of her life was Prince Albert (whose statue nearby looks on at her). When he died the Queen took to wearing black and became somewhat of a recluse, very rarely venturing out from behind the walls of Windsor and earning the nickname the "Widow of Windsor". She blamed her son Edward VII for her husband's death because she believed he had contracted typhoid fever whilst sorting out one of Edward's playboy "messes" in Cambridge. His mother was quoted as saying "I never can, or shall, look at him without a shudder."


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