Queen Victoria Memorial Melbourne
Public Art : Queen Victoria Memorial
Sculptor : © James
Date Unveiled : The Queen Victoria monument was
unveiled on the 24th May (her birthday and Empire Day), 1907, six years after her death. The monument was unveiled
by Lieutenant Governor Sir John Madden.
Description: The total height of the Queen Victoria
monument is 10.9m high. The top statue of the queen is 3.9m high and was carved from Carrara marble. The four
statues beneath represent four major events in the queen's life : birth, accession to the the throne, marriage and
Location: You can't miss it, it's in Queen Victoria
Funded : The total cost of the Queen Victoria
monument was £7,000 and was funded by public subsciption.
History of The Queen Victoria Memorial : The original
idea to have a statue erected in honor of Queen Victoria began in 1853 but would not eventuate until 1907.
Queen Victoria Memorial Controversy :
Seems where ever Queen Victoria statues are erected, trouble soon follows. Nature of the beast I
guess. This statue was no exception. Sculptor James White pretty much ruined his career over it. Not only did he
have most of the sculpting done in Italy, many complained his version of the queen looked "periously close to
caricature" ouch! When quizzed about using sculptors (and materials) from Italy, White replied " with the
skilled labour available in this country, the statues for the memorial could not be finished for five to six
years." That didn't go down at all well.
So Who Was Queen Victoria? : Queen Victoria (1819
-1901) was the longest reigning monarch of Britain (total of 63 years, seven months and two days), denying her son
Edward VII the throne for nearly 65 years. Her other claim to fame was that during her rule the
British Empire was in virtual peace, no wars or major conflicts. It became known as the 'Pax
Britannica' or 'British Peace'. The love of her life was Prince Albert (whose statue nearby looks on at her). When he died the Queen took to wearing black
and became somewhat of a recluse, very rarely venturing out from behind the walls of Windsor and earning
the nickname the "Widow of Windsor". She blamed her son Edward VII for her husband's death because
she believed he had contracted typhoid fever whilst sorting out one of Edward's playboy "messes"
in Cambridge. His mother was quoted as saying "I never can, or shall, look at him without a shudder."