A call-out has been made to the country by ministers to suggest the best way to remember the late Queen.
Readers of The Mail on Sunday are among the millions who, government sources say, have been invited to come up with an idea for a fitting memorial for his remarkable 70 years of dedicated service to the nation.
It may seem impossible to think of anything more fitting to honor such a record-breaking reign.
In fact, there are those who think that something like a statue or a new park will diminish his memory.
In any case, the Olympic Park, national parks and even a train line – the 73-mile, £18 billion Elizabeth Line – are already named after the Queen, who died last September aged 96.
Readers of The Mail on Sunday are among the millions invited to come up with an idea for a fitting memorial to the Queen’s remarkable 70 years of dedicated service to the nation.
A National Commemoration Committee has been set up to explore how a permanent memorial and legacy project can benefit the British. An official source told the MOS that for the first time public representatives will be considered.
An early – and controversial – suggestion was to replace the Queen Victoria memorial outside Buckingham Palace with something in honor of Elizabeth II. But it was quickly rejected. The independent advisory committee – whose membership has not yet been established but which should be announced before the Queen’s death anniversary on September 8 – is set up by the Prime Minister and led by the Cabinet Office.
It is understood that it will use a two-pronged approach: erecting a permanent physical memorial such as a statue, funded by public donations, as well as launching a legacy community project.
The plans will be presented to the King before being announced publicly.
Royal officials are aware that previous memorials have been mired in controversy. For example, a fountain commemorating Princess Diana in London’s Kensington Gardens was criticized as over-hyped, poorly constructed and outrageously expensive.
Also, another memorial to Diana was the focus of a very awkward – and temporary – reunion of her two sons, William and Harry. They were able to put aside their bitter enmity and honor their mother together by unveiling a statue of her in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Gardens two years ago this month.
Late train line
The Elizabeth Line, named after the late Queen, is a new rail route on the London Underground and Overground network.
The Queen and Duke of Wessex officially opened the line – whose color is royal purple – on May 17 last year. The route connects Abbey Wood and Shenfield in Essex with Maidenhead and Reading in Berkshire, while stopping at central London and Heathrow Airport.
Controversy surrounded its development, as it cost £18.9 billion over budget – £5 billion more than the original estimate. And it took 13 years to complete, although it was supposed to be ready by 2018. Some of the unexpected beneficiaries were Britain’s birds, however, as 6 million tonnes of soil were removed during its construction, half of which was moved to Wallasey Island in Essex to create a 400-acre bird sanctuary.
The sanctuary, called Jubilee Marsh, is managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
The Elizabeth Line is the new London Underground and Overground rail route
Diana Fountain which was erupted by MPS
The Diana Memorial Fountain was plagued by controversy when it opened in 2004, both over its £3.6 million cost and what critics saw as a less than regal design.
The 690-foot fountain, a circular moat filled with water in London’s Hyde Park, was opened by the late Queen Elizabeth. It was closed almost immediately by flooding and again after 15 injuries in 16 days when people fell on wet rocks.
Guards had to be hired to stop people paddling to avoid accidents that more than doubled the annual maintenance bill. Two years later, a report by MPs described it as ‘offensive and indecent’.
The fountain aims to reflect Diana’s life, with water flowing in two directions from the highest point and meeting in a pool below.
The Diana Memorial Fountain was plagued by problems when it opened in 2004 and controversy over both its £3.6 million cost and what critics saw as a less than grandiose design.
Plinth? No chance
One idea that has already been scrapped is a statue on the fourth plinth at the northwest corner of Trafalgar Square. The plinth, built to hold a statue of William IV, has been used since 2000 for temporary exhibitions of modern sculpture, such as a fly-like drone atop an ice cream cone.
One idea that has already been scrapped is a statue on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square
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