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Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams / Russell Byers / John Huth

The statue commemorates Queen Victoria whose reign is called the `Pax Britannica` or `British Peace` because at the time Britain `ruled the world` during a long period of peace. 

Victoria (24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. With a reign of 63 years, seven months and two days, Victoria was the longest -reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning queen regnant in world history until her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II surpassed her on 9 September 2015.

Queen Victoria`s birthday, 24th May, used to be called `Empire Day`. There were special assemblies at school with songs praising the British Empire. Children were then given a half-day holiday. Up to the 1950s, Empire Day was celebrated in Australia with huge bonfires and fireworks.

In this week's issue of the Town and Country Journal is given an engraving of Boehm's statue of the Queen, which is to be placed on the hitherto vacant pedestal at the top of King-street east, Sydney, and will be unveiled by Lady Carrington during the Centennial week. The statue replaces one burned when the International Exhibition Building was destroyed by fire toward the close of the year 1882. This statue had been a conspicuous feature directly beneath the great dome of the building since its opening in September, 1879. By the Appropriation Act of May, 1883, a sum of £3000 was set apart for a new statue ; and, an order having been sent, in 1885, to Sir Saul Samuel, Agent General, that official intrusted the work of executing the statue to Mr. Boehm, a German sculptor in high favor with the Prince of Wales. It was shipped from London and arrived in Sydney in the Orient Co.'s steamer Oroya on December 23, 1887. In a letter which was received a little before the statue, Sir Saul Samuel mentioned having inspected it in the company of several other gentlemen, and having found it, in his opinion and that of the others, a work " of exceptional beauty." The statue, which weighs 2 tons 5cwt, is of bronze, and of colossal proportions. It now lies in its case on a trolly in the yard at the rear of the Colonial Architect's office, pending the erection of the necessary scaffolding for placing it in its proper position on the pedestal. 
Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney), 7 January 1888.

The formal ceremony of unveiling the statue of her Majesty the Queen, at the head of King-street, was performed at noon on Tuesday by Lady Carrington, amidst the greatest enthusiasm.  The statue, it will be remembered, was executed by Mr Joseph Edgar Boehm, R.A., to the order of the New South Wales Government; and is acknowledged to be a very handsome work. The height of the bronze figure from the plinth to the crown is 11ft. 4in. The statue, which is a majestic and faithful likeness, represents the Queen in a regal dress, handsomely draped, with a long train embroidered with emblems of the rose, shamrock, and thistle. On the breast are the ribbon and star of the Garter: in the right hand is the sceptre pointing downwards, and in the left the orb, whilst on the head is placed an Imperial crown. The entire work is justly considered as a fitting  emblem of the loyalty of the colony of New South Wales to her Majesty's throne and person. 
Excerpt from the Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW),  28 January 1888.



Address:Macquarie Street, Queen`s Square, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.869723
Long: 151.21184
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Statue
Monument Theme:People
Designer:Pedestal designed by James Barnett (architect)
Artist:Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 24th January, 1888
Front Inscription


Source: MA,H
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au