The Sovereign of the Month
Sovereign of the Month
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Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation and The Queen's Beasts


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Queen Elizabeth's Coronation Beasts

As Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in June 1953, the entrance to Westminster Abbey was guarded by ten fantastical creatures.

They symbolised her heritage, with each statue representing a royal ancestor that had gone before her. They have watched over Her Late Majesty through an astonishing reign; from a young woman inheriting the throne at the age of 25 to an experienced monarch.

The beasts that lined the entrance to Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953 were formidable six-feet tall, plaster sculptures created by James Woodford RA. They were unpainted, except for their shields, which featured coats of arms that signified which of The Queen’s ancestors they represented.

After the coronation, the statues were displayed at Hampton Court and then Windsor. Today, The Queen’s Beasts can be found at the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec, where they are now painted with their bright and impressive heraldic colours. Portland stone replicas, also carved by James Woodford, watch over Kew Gardens.

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