Private individuals in Windsor and Berkshire are seeking to raise funds for the Windsor Greys Jubilee project to raise a statue to a pair of Windsor Greys, the breed of horse that always draw the Queen’s carriage, as well as all the Royal carriages – see photo below of the Greys pulling William and Kate’s Wedding Carriage. Windsor Greys are not a specific breed of horse but are rather a name applied to a group of horses that are specially bred and selected according to appearance and temperament for the ceremonial duties of the British Monarchy. At present, about thirty Greys are in Royal service and are housed at the Royal Mews.
The statue project suffered a setback when the chosen artist, sculptor Althea Wynne, was killed in a car crash. Robert Rattray, a sculptor specializing in wildlife, will now carry the project forward. It is hoped that the bronze statue will be placed on the A308/A322 roundabout adjoining the Long Walk in Windsor and will commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in the town of Windsor, as Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee is commemorated there by the statue of that monarch at the entrance of Windsor Castle.
Rosemary Ussher, one of the driving forces behind the campaign, told The Observer, “It is very important we recognise The Queen’s contribution to our society, but the horses will now also be in memory of Althea.”
You can donate by sending a donation to Windsor Greys Jubilee Appeal, 35 Queen’s Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3BQ or by clicking here.
Kristine and Victoria are sad to report that we will miss the V and A Museum’s exhibit of Cecil Beaton’s photographs of Queen Elizabeth II, which is scheduled to close in London on April 22, 2012. We will share little of it with you today, and here is the website. Below is the schedule for additional presentations of the exhibit in the UK, Canada, and Australia.
Beaton’s talents for portrait photography were unrivaled, and he exercised them fully when the subject was the Queen.
Gelatin silver print; Museum no. E.1556-2007
Beaton photographed Queen Elizabeth before she came to the throne in 1952, and he took her official Coronation portrait.
Beaton was renowned for his romantic portraits of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
Dundee, McManus Gallery – 30 September 2011 – 8 January 2012
In this Diamond Jubilee year, it’s perhaps fitting to reflect upon the reigns of both Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria, England’s two longest reigning monarchs. To date, Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne for 60 years and still has a few years to go before breaking the regal record held by Queen Victoria for a reign of 63 years and 7 months (and 2 days).
To back up a bit, Victoria and her cousin Albert were married on February 10th, 1840, at the royal chapel of St. James, in London.
Queen Elizabeth and her cousin, Prince Philip, were married on November 20, 1947 in Westminster Abbey, London.
Queen Victoria’s uninterrupted mourning affected all aspects of her life, not the least of which was her fashion sense, as can be seen by the dress above, on display at the Costume Museum in Bath. Queen Victoria stood a mere five feet tall and, as the above dress will attest, seemingly enjoyed her food.
In contrast, Queen Elizabeth stands at a comparatively statuesque 5′ 4″, eats a bit less and is known for wearing an often bright and always colourful wardrobe.
One thing that Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth have in common is their love for horses and horseback riding. Each began riding early in their lives and continued to ride as long as they were able. Queen Elizabeth is still in the saddle . . . . .
Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee was marked by many celebrations, including, on 22 June 1897, a progress to St Paul’s Cathedral, where a short service of thanksgiving was held outside the building, as the Queen was too lame to manage the steps. Thankfully, Queen Elizabeth is in fine health and a host of Jubilee celebrations will be held throughout the land over the coming months.