A garland for Queen Anne
Brian noticed that the statue of Queen Anne outside St Paul’s has acquired this rather fetching garland in the last couple of days, but he cant think what it is there for.
“I suppose that anyone could have climbed over the railings with some difficulty and put it there. I’ve looked to see if there could be a link for an event to be commemorate but nothing fits in. It’s 300 years this year since she died but that’s not until 1st August. This is the closest Sunday to her birthday. She was born on 6th February, 1665. That may be a possibility. I’ve discounted the official date of the completion of the cathedral which was 25th June 1711. I’ve also discounted the anniversary of when the statue was placed there.”
Looks like a mystery – if you have any ideas let us know. The statue has had a difficult history. The original statue was put there in 1712, the work of Francis Bird. Canaletto featured it in his painting of St Paul’s in 1754 however it took quite a battering from London, including being attacked by a drunken Lascar seaman who had absconded from one of the East India Company’s ships in Blackwall. By 1886 it was in such poor repair that a new copy of the statue was erected, designed by Richard Belt, although there had been much argument over who was going to pay for it. Strangely the original statue was sold and ended up in a country house in Holmhurst near Hastings. The current statue has been subject to pollution and vandalism and many parts have been replaced. In the occupy protests of 2011 Queen Anne was given a V for Vendetta style mask. It makes this weekends garland look pretty subdued!
You can find more City surprises on Brian’s Heart of the City walk on February 27th