To mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, Parliament have commissioned a gift of two ornate lamps estimated to have cost £175,000. The two lamps will be installed at the top of a staircase which leads to an existing fountain in New Palace Yard at the Palace of Westminster.
Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, and Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, have written to MP’s and Peers to discuss the Jubilee gift. They have encouraged MP’s and Peers to contribute towards its funding. It is expected that public funds will not be used for the commissions.
The two ornate lamps are expected to be “unique bronze sculptures of the heraldic beasts of the United Kingdom.” The beasts included will be the lion of England, unicorn of Scotland, dragon of Wales and Irish elk of Northern Ireland. Other royal symbols are expected to feature on the sculptures with the lanterns being in the shape of St Edward’s Crown.
MP’s and Peers have also been told it is hoped that Her Majesty will visit Parliament next year to mark her Platinum Jubilee.
In the letter to MP’s and Peers, Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Lord Fowler said, “The gift now proposed is for a pair of unique bronze sculptures of the heraldic beasts of the United Kingdom, namely the lion of England, the unicorn of Scotland, the dragon of Wales and the Irish elk of Northern Ireland, and bearing other royal symbols, to be installed at the top of both sides of the staircase leading to the fountain in New Palace Yard. The sculptures will frame the vantage point from the Great Door of Westminster Hall to the fountain and thus link three of the four jubilee gifts of Her Majesty’s reign.”
The fountain in New Palace Yard was gifted for Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, a sundial in Old Palace Yard was gifted in 2002 to mark The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. In 2012, to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee a stained glass window in Westminster Hall was commissioned.
There are still five lamps across the United Kingdom that were installed to mark the Golden and Diamond Jubilees of Queen Victoria. These lamps are now listed structures.
The letter continued, “Members of the House of Commons and members of the House of Lords are asked to consider making a contribution to these sculptures which will be a beautiful adornment of the Palace of Westminster and a fitting tribute to the reign of our Queen, who has been a constant exemplar of duty and service.”