MPs back call for permanent Queen Elizabeth II statue on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth

·2-min read

MPs in the House of Commons have expressed their support for Queen Elizabeth II to be honoured with a statue on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth.

Former minister and Tory MP Sir John Hayes’s idea to commemorate the Queen’s 70-year reign with a statue was met with choruses of “hear, hear” at the Commons on Thursday.

Sir John said the Queen, who died on 8 September at Balmoral, Scotland, at the age of 96, deserved a “fitting national memorial”.

“Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II we have witnessed an extraordinary nationwide, indeed kingdom-wide, response – a moving mix of sorrow at our loss and celebration of a life of remarkable service,” the Tory politician said.

“So that mood is marked forever and remembrance can last for generations to come, a fitting national memorial needs to be established.

“Will the Leader of the House, therefore, agree with me that a statement is brought to this House on what form that memorial might take?” Sir John asked.

“For me, a statue on the final plinth on Trafalgar Square would be ideal,” he added.

At present, there is only one full-size statue of the late monarch at the Windsor Great Park, which was inaugurated in 2002 to mark the golden jubilee.

Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the Commons, thanked Sir John for the suggestion, saying she would “certainly” raise it with the culture secretary.

“Clearly these will be matters that will concern many members and will involve other bodies outside of this house,” she said.

“But I shall certainly raise this with the secretary of state for DCMS [Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Michelle Donelan] and ensure she properly consults members on their wishes as plans are taken forward.”

In nearly 30 years, the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square in central London has become home to a succession of artworks.

The square has a plinth on each of its four corners.

The two on the southern blocks carry the sculptures of British army major generals – Henry Havelock and Charles James Napier – who waged campaigns in India.

One of the larger northern plinths features a bronze statue of King George IV who died in 1828.