Queen Victoria Memorial

 Queen Victoria Memorial, Buckingham Palace, England

Public Art : Queen Victoria Memorial

Nickname : Wedding Cake

Sculptor : © Sir Thomas Brock

Architect : The Victoria Memorial was designed by British architect Sir Aston Webb who also designed the main facade of Buckingham Palace.

Date of Unveiling: The Victoria Memorial was unveiled at noon on the 16th May, 1911, by Queen Victoria's grandson, King George V. In attendance was Kaiser William and members of the British and German Royal families including Empress Augusta Victoria and Princess Victoria Louise.

Location : The Queen Victoria Memorial stands at the end of London's Mall, outside Buckingham Palace, London.

Description : The Queen Victoria Memorial, which stands 25m (82ft) high, was carved from 2,300 tons of white marble. The main figures represent Truth, Peace, Constancy and Motherhood. The memorial features a guilded statue of Victory with two seated figures by her feet. The statue of Queen Victoria appears below the Victory,  facing north-east towards the Mall. A bronze statue of the Angel of Justice faces north-west towards Green Park,the Angel of Truth faces south-east and a statue of Charity, ironically, faces towards Buckingham Palace.

A nautical theme is also evident, with a ship's prows found above the steps and the various sea creatures found on the reliefs, an acknowledgement of the United Kingdom's naval power. A group of bronzes found on the east side of the memorial are symbolic of Peace and Progress and the group to the west of Agriculture and Industry.

On the ground level are two sets of bronze lions. One set a gift from New Zealand. 

Background to The Queen Victoria Memorial :  Thomas Brock became a sculptor of choice among the British royalty after he completed the statue of Prince Albert following the death of sculptor John Henry Foley. He was later rewarded for his work by being given the commission for the Queen Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace. As legend goes, King George V was so moved by Brock's finished product he immediately called for his sword and knighted the sculptor following the unveiling ceremony. During his speech the King descibed the monument as " the tribute of races and legions more various in character and circumstance than have ever been combined before upon a common purpose." At the unveiling the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London performed the religious rites and the late Queen's organist Sir Walter Parratt conducted the choir.

Background of 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 . 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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