Queen Victoria Statue Brisbane
Public Art : Queen Victoria Statue
Sculptor : © Sir
Thomas Brock (this is a replica of his original work)
Date : Unveiled in 1906
Description : The bronze statue of Queen Victoria
depicts a somewhat stern looking queen, holding her orb and scepter (ball and stick).
Funded : Public subscription and grants from the
Location : Outside Conrad Hotel (former Lands
Administration Building), Queens Garden, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Cost : The pedestal was completed at a cost of
£567 by local stonemason William Kitchen
History of the Queen Victoria Statue : We have to thank a local Brisbane artist (of the time), Godfrey Rivers, for the Queen Victoria statue,
as he was the one who negotiated its purchase in 1906. However the funding was through public subscription and
subsidies from both the State and Federal Governments. The statue was to be an expression of Queenslands
loyalty to the British Empire.
Well I Never : Surprisingly, this is the only statue
of Queen Victoria in Queensland. You would think the towns would be over run!
The Queen Victoria statue in Hove, Sussex, England, was one of Brock's fourteen statues of Queen
Victoria, and the first statue of the monarch to be unveiled after her death on 22 January of that year.
British Monarchy have either a cross or a dove atop their sceptor (royal staff).
Queen Victoria is depicted wearing her small diamond crown (made for her in 1890), though in Royal
Coronations they are expected to wear the St Edward's Crown. The original St Edward's crown was destroyed by Oliver
Cromwell in 1649. A new one was whipped up later, by Sir Robert Vyner, when Charles II had his Coronation in
1661. But wait, there's more, the crown did not have any permanent jewels on it. Yep, those Royal cheap
skates rented the stones. It wasn't until George V was Coronated in 1911, did the crown have permanent jewels
attached. Queen Victoria and Edward VII chose not to be crowned in it because it weighed too much 4 lb 12 oz
Rumor has it that when Sir Thomas Brock's famous Imperial Memorial to Queen Victoria (not this
one),was unveiled in front of Buckingham Palace, George V was so overwhelmed by its beauty, he quickly demanded a
sword and knighted the bemused sculptor, right then and there.
But all did not go so smoothy. I discovered an article dated May 28th, 1911, from the
New York Times, having a go at none other than our newly knighted sculptor, Sir Thomas
Brock. The article harshly critised him for failing to include the arms of Scotland on the monument and even
worse, including a sceptre not used by any Royal blood. See, people do notice.
Background of 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 . 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."
Comparing Queen Victoria Statues : Yes, as I feared, she is never depicted without, her ball, stick and crown (throne, however, is optional).
In Queen's English I mean, the Sovereign's Orb, the Sceptre and her little diamond Crown.