Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.
Standing 25 meter (82 feet) high and made of 2,300 tons of gleaming white marble, the Victoria Memorial pays homage to Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901.
Victoria, of course, was the reason for the monument, but there’s much more to see than just the queen, who faces eastward away from Buckingham Palace with the words “Victoria, Regina Imperatrix” (Victoria, Queen and Emperor) placed below her.
On the north side of the monument you’ll find the Angel of Justice and on the opposite side, the Angel of Truth. On the western side, looking towards Buckingham Palace, is a statue of Charity. All of that is topped off with a gilded statue of Victory, sitting atop the pinnacle with a seated figure on either side, said to represent Courage and Constancy.
Four massive lions, each with a monumental figure, stand to the four sides of the monument, the gift of New Zealand. I missed getting a photo of one of the four of the bronzes. Agriculture and Manufacture are naturalistic, turn of the century figures. Manufacture is a tough workman, muscular, bearded and heavily muscled, wearing an apron and holding a mallet and some rolled up scroll. Peace and Progress bring us back to the classical ideal, Greek rather than Roman again. Peace recalls the summit Victory, with her light garment outlining her form, and a heavier cloak with a bold sweep over the arm and across the legs as she strides forward. In her hand, a sprig of olive leaves. Progress, a young Greek athlete, strides forward holding a torch aloft. All four figures are excellent, appearing monumental even beyond their size, and the lions, carefully modeled after live ones at London Zoo, are suitably fierce.
The gates around the palace were very spectacular.
When we were done at the palace we headed out to the British Library where there is a treasures room filled with manuscripts and books and music from Shakespeare, Chaucer, the Beatles, The Magna Carta, Gutenberg Bible and so many more amazing things to see all in one large room in this library. Of course photos were not allowed. If they caught you they might just chain you to this bench!
Back to the Seattle area…
We are sitting in a freeze pattern here. Brrr…
We had to let our Christmas tree thaw out after we brought it home today. We continued the tradition of buying a “Mystery Tree”. We don’t take the string off the tree until we bring it home and then the tree is revealed with all it’s good sides and bad sides! Kind of like us! The lights and decorations will have to wait until tomorrow. Thankfully we have a Christmas party here for our Small Group on Thursday night so I won’t put this last task off for too long. How are things coming at your place?