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fourth plinth
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A statue of the Queen may be put on the Fourth Plinth

The Trafalgar Square spot has become famous for hosting some challenging contemporary art

India Lawrence
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India Lawrence
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To commemorate the Queen after her death, it has been suggested that a statue of our longest-reigning monarch could occupy a permanent position on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth. 

The idea has been spinning around London’s rumour mill for years, with former London Mayor Ken Livingstone first mentioning the statue of Her Majesty back in 2013. The proposed sculpture will show Queen Elizabeth II on horseback. 

The plinth was intended for a statue of King William IV in 1841 but it sat empty for 150 years. It’s now known in London as a place for showing contemporary art thanks to a programme started by the Royal Society of Arts and the Cass Sculpture Foundation in 1999. The plinth most recently hosted Heather Phillipson’s whimsical sculpture ‘THE END’ which depicts a big melting dollop of ice cream. Previous works on the plinth have included a giant ship in a bottle by Yinka Shonibare and a massive thumb by David Shrigley.

The line-up for the plinth is been agreed well in advance, and an anticolonial statue by Samson Kambalu was set to be unveiled there last week, but it was delayed because of the Queen’s funeral. There’s currently no artwork on the plinth.

Mexican artist Teresa Margolles has been asked to take over the plinth in 2024, where she’ll place a sculpture with 850 plaster casts of the faces of trans people. It’s previously been suggested that the plinth should host statues of Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher and even Caption Tom Moore (not all at the same time). 

MPs and Buckingham Palace are going to hold talks to discuss the future of the plinth, and a spokesperson said it was being ‘considered very carefully’. Other options to commemorate Her Maj include renaming streets, racecourses and even Heathrow airport. 

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