Design for Queen Mother memorial unveiled

Last updated at 16:27 18 May 2007


The final design for the national memorial to the Queen Mother has been unveiled. The tribute will be a bronze statue of the royal matriarch in Order of the Garter robes.

It will stand beneath a sculpture of her late husband King George VI, off The Mall in central London.

Queen mother memorial

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "Their separation in the composition reflects the fact that Queen Elizabeth lived for another 50 years."

The Queen Mother will be portrayed in her younger days, instead of as the centenarian she became.

The Palace spokeswoman said: "It is intended that the statues will show the King and Queen at the same age, mounted on plinths simply inscribed with their names and the years of their births and deaths."

George VI was 56 when he died, leaving the Queen Mother widowed at the age of 51. She lived to 101.

Her statue will be mounted on a plinth which stands on the ground, while the King's is on the higher landing behind, accessible by steps.

The King's sculpture will be moved forward slightly from its original position to a more central one.

It is the first time models of the new memorial have been shown.

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales all approved the plans.

The Queen Mother's statue, by sculptor Philip Jackson, will look towards Buckingham Palace, just like the King's does already.

The surrounding site will be remodelled to include two bronze relief panels by artist Paul Day, on one side showing scenes from the life of the King and Queen together and on the other side, scenes from the Queen Mother's life.

An application for planning permission has now been made to Westminster City Council.

Construction of the memorial is due to be completed in three months - in August, according to the project's website.

But the planning application process could take until July.

Donald Buttress and Donald Insall Associates, together with sculptors Jackson and Day, were chosen from a shortlist of architects and artists in September.

The Prince of Wales helped pick the designers tasked with honouring his beloved grandmother, who died in March 2002.

The overall brief urged applicants to steer clear

of incorporating water into their plans following

the fiasco surrounding the Diana memorial fountain in Hyde Park.

The site is on the north side of The Mall between Marlborough Road and Admiralty Arch.

It is being funded by the sale of a £5 coin produced by the Royal Mint to commemorate the Queen's 80th birthday.

Gordon Brown has previously said that up to £2 million will be made available for the project, including all related expenses and the official opening.

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