Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.
While it has nothing specifically to do with the Egyptian queen, the obelisk known as 'Cleopatra’s Needle', which stands on the north bank of the Thames on Victoria Embankment, is a genuine Ancient Egyptian artefact, presented to the British Government in 1819 in commemoration of the victories of Nelson and Abercrombie over the French in Egypt. Postage wasn't included, though, and it was not until 1877 that the obelisk finally arrived in this country – encased in a floating iron cylinder named 'Cleopatra'. Hewn from pink granite, the 'Needle' weighs an estimated 180 tonnes and stands 21 metres tall. It is one of a pair, its partner being situated in Central Park, New York City. It is flanked by two bronze sphinxes – nineteenth-century casts – one of which bears the scars of a WWI air raid.