New statue of Queen Elizabeth II should be placed in a ‘prominent’ London location

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New statue of Queen Elizabeth II should be placed in a 'prominent' London location
credit Unsplash

A new statue of Queen Elizabeth II should be placed in a “prominent” London location, City Hall politicans have said.

The London Assembly has unanimously agreed a motion, stating that a new permanent monument to Britain’s longest-serving monarch should be created in the capital.

It followed calls by MPs after the Queen’s death last year for a statue to be placed on the Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square.

The motion was put forward by Conservative Assembly Member (AM) Nick Rogers, who said at a meeting on Thursday: “A statue of the Queen in a prominent, public location in London would be a most fitting accolade, and would both be an expression of the high regard in which her late Majesty is held by Londoners, as well as helping preserve her memory for future generations.”

Rogers said that backing the proposed monument would also serve as a show of support for King Charles III, as his coronation approaches.

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An earlier version of the motion had suggested placing the statue on the Fourth Plinth, but the final wording said its location should “be decided in consultation with the Royal Family”.

Labour AM Leonie Cooper agreed with this point, saying: “People have very strong views about what the Fourth Plinth has been used for.

“I think our feeling is that if that is the location that the Royal Family felt was most appropriate, then that would be an appropriate location, and that we should support that, probably looking to have the Fourth Plinth activities re-sited somewhere else.

“But if that’s not where the Royal Family wants the tribute to the Queen to be situated, then I think it’s really important that we respect their view, and that we come up with something that is a tribute to somebody who gave so much to this nation.”

Lib Dem AM Caroline Pidgeon said it was “without question” that a new statue should be commissioned, and that several probably would be, but that she did not personally think the Fourth Plinth was the best location for it.

“I think that [location] is about art and challenge and other things, rather than perhaps a place for reflection and reflecting [on] our longest serving head of state… For me, I would probably like to see a statue in Parliament Square.”

And Green AM Caroline Russell said she was strongly opposed to the Fourth Plinth as the location, saying it plays “a really critical part in the cultural life of our city. It interests tourists, it contributes to the cultural debates in our city.”

But on where it should be placed instead, she said: “Our party has republican principles, and so we don’t normally get involved in decisions about the locations of royal statues.”

The motion passed by the Assembly does not have any formal effect on Mayor Sadiq Khan’s policies, but does demonstrate cross-party support for the idea.

A spokeswoman for Khan said: “The Mayor wants to see a lasting and fitting tribute in London to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. City Hall stands ready to support the wishes of the Royal Family in finding the best location for a national memorial that reflects her unique status as the longest serving monarch.”

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