Here’s what a monument to the late Queen should – and shouldn’t – look like

It may be time, instead, to revisit Parliament Square, and make that the focal point of her commemoration. If her memorial di lei were placed there, the late Queen, an exemplary constitutional monarch, would be at the heart of the embodiment of the constitutional process. She would be among statues of at least two people she knew and admired – Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela. The area could be re-landscaped, with some of the dozen statues there moved either around the square or elsewhere on the parliamentary estate, in order to accommodate whatever grand design the architect and sculptor should devise for the memorial.

Given the late Queen’s love of horses, the centerpiece should be an elevated equestrian statue of her, on a tall Portland Stone plinth with other figures around its base representing the long era through which she reigned; and there could be a fountain. Finally, Parliament Square, named such only since 1868, and not part of our mystical ancient heritage, should be renamed Elizabeth Square – which, given the popularity of the late Queen and the relative unpopularity of Parliament, might be something of a relief.

The national memorial would require not merely a fine location, but also the talents of a fine architect and sculptor, chosen with great care. The new King has a long-standing interest in architecture and aesthetics, and is likely to veer towards a classical representation of his mother and her times di lei. The lack of regard in which much modern statuary is held – and one thinks of the mediocre representation of Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace by Ian Rank-Broadley, approved by her children and unveiled in July 2021 – means that the King must walk a fine line between offensive modernism and pastiche. An Elizabeth Square that, because of its crowning glory, ended up looking like Poundbury would be as unconvincing as one looking as though it had been transplanted from the heart of a Brutalist new town.