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The sun never sets on statues of Queen Victoria
Not-so-merry monarch still stands in Australia, America, Africa, Asia

Toronto Star
17 May 2008



She's everywhere. Wherever you travel around the world, you're likely sooner or later to stumble upon a statue of the "Queen Empress" upon whose empire the sun is said never to have set and who holds the record for longest reigning monarch - 63 years and 7 months from June, 1837, to January, 1901.

Victoria is arguably also the ruler with the most statues, everywhere from a prime piece of London real estate outside Buckingham Palace, to a more modest plot in the Ghanaian town of Cape Coast where a flock of goats grazes at her feet.

She sits in Toronto, stands in Hamilton and lost her head, quite literally, in Quebec City.

In 1963, separatist radicals blew up the three-metre-tall bronze statue in - where else? - Victoria Square, decapitating Victoria in the process. Leonard Cohen, in his novel Beautiful Losers, refers to them placing the explosives in her lap.

Newspapers reported that the blast was heard all over the city and the head was found 20 metres from the torso.

Head and body have been displayed separately from time to time at the Musee de la Civilization, says spokesperson Serge Poulin, and are presently in storage along with some 200,000 other museum artifacts.

But a plan, put forward a couple of years ago, to put the statue back together in time for Quebec City's 400th anniversary this year has come to naught, says Poulin. For one thing, a couple of vital chunks of metal were destroyed in the explosion and the royal head no longer fits on the royal shoulders.

The statue was erected in Quebec City in 1897 to commemorate Victoria's 60 years on the throne. All over the Empire, similar effigies were being installed.

Most have fared better than Quebec's, though the Irish - many of whom resented what they saw as the imposition of the British monarchy upon them - gave away a statue of the queen. It stood for years outside the Parliament building in Dublin. But in 1947, the government of the republic put it into storage. In the late 1980s, it was sent to Australia where it now graces the front of the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney. At least Her Majesty has company there - a nearby wishing well features a bronze sculpture of Islay, said to have been her favourite dog.

Many of her statues show Victoria in her later years, when she famously was "not amused." She certainly wouldn't have been entertained by our Victoria Day holiday - also the celebration of the present queen's official birthday.

But there's more to remembering Queen Victoria than statues stained with verdigris and pigeon poop. There are streets, squares, mountains, arguably the world's largest waterfall, cities ....

Even the United States, which won its freedom from the yoke of British monarchy, has a town named after the Queen. Victoria, Virginia - founded as a railway town in 1906 and with a population of about 2,000 - was named by industrialist, financier and railroader Henry Rogers, born in 1840 and a fan of the British monarch.

There are several other U.S. Victorias and four in Romania, though it's questionable who they were named after.

But in Asia, Africa, Australia or even Antarctica - Victoria Land, a region discovered in 1841 by British explorer James Clark Ross - you can be pretty certain who their inspiration was.

Honouring the sovereign can, of course, be done indirectly. Who do you think the "regina" was in the naming of Regina, for example ? One of the nicest statues of the monarch sits on the lawn in front of the B.C. parliament building in the Inner Harbour of Victoria, B.C. It's the young queen, not yet an empress and without the weight of her years or her empire upon her slender shoulders.

At first glance she looks solemn but her crown is at a bit of a rakish angle and her lips seem almost to be breaking into a Mona Lisa smile.

At what?

That must remain Victoria's secret.

Bill Taylor is a feature writer with the Star.
 

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There was a minor incident with the Queen Victoria statue in HK back in the mid 90s when an artist threw red paint at it.
 

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In South Africa (sorry for the small pics)
Port Elizabeth

Cape Town- infront of Parliament
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Pollution turns famous India Raj monument yellow
16 July 2007

KOLKATA, India, July 16 (Reuters) - Poisonous fumes, dust and smog are staining the white-marbled Queen Victoria Memorial, one of India's best-known landmarks from the days of the British empire, a leading environmental agency warned on Monday.

The monument, built a century ago when Kolkata - then known as Calcutta - was the capital of British-ruled India, is turning yellow, according to the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

NEERI sent a report last week to the Kolkata High Court recommending measures, including limiting traffic around the Queen Victoria Memorial, to save it from further destruction.

"Our findings were crystal clear and crisp and we believe and trust that our observation will help," a senior NEERI official, who requested not to be named, said on Monday.

Built in the early 20th century, the memorial houses one of the world's longest paintings -- an elephant procession -- among some 3,000 exhibits in 25 galleries.

A bronze statue of Queen Victoria is enthroned at the entrance and the dome is inscribed with the text of her imperial proclamation speech.

"The white marble is turning yellowish due to pollution, and plasters have peeled off in many chamber walls," Bimal Bandyopadhyay, a senior archaeologist said.

This is not the first Indian monument to face problems from growing air contamination. A parliamentary report this year warned that India's Taj Mahal was turning yellow due to pollution.
 

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She's everywhere. Wherever you travel around the world, you're likely sooner or later to stumble upon a statue of the "Queen Empress" upon whose empire the sun is said never to have set and who holds the record for longest reigning monarch - 63 years and 7 months from June, 1837, to January, 1901.
Things that perhaps Bill Taylor -feature writer with the Toronto Star- should know:

1. How many statues of the "Queen Empress" would you stumble upon if you walked from Madrid to Vladivostok (9,700 km in a straight line)? Maybe none. That means it is much much much later than sooner. Does Mr. Taylor think that 9,700 km is a short distance?

2. During Philip II's lifetime, the Spanish Empire was the first one to be called "the first empire on which the sun never set". That happened almost 3 centuries before the Queen Empress reigned. All empires use propaganda, the Spanish empire and the English empire; in both cases it was true that they were empires on which "the sun never set" but our propaganda was 300 years earlier.

3. Pharaoh Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, is often regarded as Egypt's greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh. According to Manetho or Manethon, an egyptian historian and priest, Ramesses II ruled Egypt from 1279 BC to 1213 BC[6] for a total of 66 years and 2 months.
This certainly happened a long long time ago, but a "feature writer with the Toronto Star" should know these "details", shouldn't he?
Queen Victoria doesn't hold the record for longest reigning monarch. Her reign as Queen lasted 63 years and seven months, longer than that of any other British monarch to date. It is as simple as this, he only needed to add the word "British" to the sentence.

The problem is that Mr Taylor needs to write an article about the greatest Queen in the whole Solar System. So what is the importance of the distance Madrid-Vladivostok as compared to the Solar System? What is the importance of a long dead Egyptian pharaoh whom nobody remembers? Did any Spanish Empire ever existed?
 

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We have a nice one in Southport, NW England.. It's the only statue I've seen in the area of a monarch, or person come to think.. Maybe I'm not being very observant, I shall try and get a picture next week mind.
 

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Things that perhaps Bill Taylor -feature writer with the Toronto Star- should know:

1. How many statues of the "Queen Empress" would you stumble upon if you walked from Madrid to Vladivostok (9,700 km in a straight line)? Maybe none. That means it is much much much later than sooner. Does Mr. Taylor think that 9,700 km is a short distance?

2. During Philip II's lifetime, the Spanish Empire was the first one to be called "the first empire on which the sun never set". That happened almost 3 centuries before the Queen Empress reigned. All empires use propaganda, the Spanish empire and the English empire; in both cases it was true that they were empires on which "the sun never set" but our propaganda was 300 years earlier.

3. Pharaoh Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, is often regarded as Egypt's greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh. According to Manetho or Manethon, an egyptian historian and priest, Ramesses II ruled Egypt from 1279 BC to 1213 BC[6] for a total of 66 years and 2 months.
This certainly happened a long long time ago, but a "feature writer with the Toronto Star" should know these "details", shouldn't he?
Queen Victoria doesn't hold the record for longest reigning monarch. Her reign as Queen lasted 63 years and seven months, longer than that of any other British monarch to date. It is as simple as this, he only needed to add the word "British" to the sentence.

The problem is that Mr Taylor needs to write an article about the greatest Queen in the whole Solar System. So what is the importance of the distance Madrid-Vladivostok as compared to the Solar System? What is the importance of a long dead Egyptian pharaoh whom nobody remembers? Did any Spanish Empire ever existed?
1. "Maybe none" ...? What a useless first point, and your example is just silly. Moreover, you can't even validate this silly example but admit that you may not see such a statue, but you can't be sure.

2. That's very interesting, but really of no importance to the article or the topic at hand. We are talking about statues of a dead queen, so why is there this need to seek awareness for the Spanish empire?

3. Congratulations to Ramesses II for his long reign, and also to other monarchs such as Louis XIV of France who reigned for longer than 66 years. Imagine, a journalist made an error. There's no need to crucify him, though.

I, for one, find it fascinating how many statues there are of Queen Victoria. More than the actual statues, though, it's amazing to consider how this one woman has so much influence to warrant the number of statues in her honour. It also speaks to a shared connection between people from Canada, Australia, UK, India, South Africa, and elsewhere where a shared history is present, reminded in the statue of this monarch.
 

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Great thread!

Here's the statue of Queen Victoria that graces the front lawn of the Parliament Buildings at the Inner Harbour at Victoria, British Columbia. The gold statue on top of the Parliament Buildings is Captain George Vancouver, Royal Navy explorer and once side kick to Capt. Cook. You can also find Cook's statue right over from Victoria's in front of the Empress Hotel.



Small pic, but the reverse side with the Inner Harbour and Empress hotel across the way.


pics from Flickr.
 

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Things that perhaps Bill Taylor -feature writer with the Toronto Star- should know:

1. How many statues of the "Queen Empress" would you stumble upon if you walked from Madrid to Vladivostok (9,700 km in a straight line)? Maybe none. That means it is much much much later than sooner. Does Mr. Taylor think that 9,700 km is a short distance?
Actually, one in Malta and a memorial in Cyprus. The author was not suggesting you walk in a straight line between two points on the globe to run into a statue of Queen Victoria or at least something named after her. He said, "Wherever you travel around the world, you're likely sooner or later to stumble upon a statue". You need to read more carefully.
 

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There may not be Queen Victoria statues, memorials, or monuments in central/eastern Europe to Vladisvostok but how about everywhere else in the world like -

Europe(UK, Malta, Cyprus)

North America(Canada wide)

Caribbean(Bahamas, Jamaica, St Kitts)

South America(Guyana)

Africa(South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe)

Indian Ocean(Seychelles)

Southern Asia(India)

Eastern Asia(Malaysia, China)

Australia/NZ


There's more too but I can't be arsed to look them up.
 
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