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Re-discovering the Queen's Beasts

The RHSC is proud to be a major sponsor of the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s (CMC) 2012 celebrations of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in Ottawa/Gatineau! To help mark this historic event, the Society has entered into an arrangement with the CMC to display all ten of the Queen’s Beasts together again.

A committee in 1952 decided to demonstrate the young Queen’s ancestry through the centuries-old heraldic tradition of displaying shields of her lineage being supported by animals, real and mythological found in the royal bestiary. Originally crafted to be placed on display on Coronation Day at Westminster Abbey in 1953, these heraldic treasures have resided in Ottawa since 1959. They were painted for the 1967 Centennial Celebrations, and are to be visible to the general public once again. The exhibit will include displays of Her Majesty’s tours across Canada, as well as several items and photographs of interest to monarchists, historians and anyone with a passing interest in royalty. Below are some of the Beasts: the Lion of England; and the Golden Griffin of Edward III with the White Lion of Mortimer.

click to view larger image of the Lion of Englandclick to view larger image of the Golden Griffin of Edward III with the White Lion of Mortimer

The Beasts all stand almost two meters tall, and are made of plaster. Each weighs over 300 kilograms, so are not easily moved. Yet the CMC hopes to have all ten lining an inside wall (being made of plaster, they can not brave the Canadian climate) on entry to the museum.The Beasts all stand almost two meters tall, and are made of plaster. Each weighs over 300 kilograms, so are not easily moved. Yet the CMC hopes to have all ten lining an inside wall (being made of plaster, they can not brave the Canadian climate) on entry to the museum.

click to view larger image of the Unicorn of Scotlandclick to view larger image of the White Greyhound of Richmond and the Yale of Beaufort

Above is the Unicorn of Scotland, a royal beast since at least 1426. To the opposite side is the White Greyhound of Richmond and the Yale of Beaufort. Included in the photographs is our First Vice President and "Beastmaster", David E. Rumball, FRHSC (Hon) who is heading up this project.

The exhibit will open in April 2012, and run until at least September of that year. It will be open to the public, and included with admission charges into the museum. This is the first time that the RHSC has entered into such a large-scale undertaking with a federal museum, and both sides are “chomping at the bit” to see it happen!
 
 


References
  1. The Queen's Beasts, Wikipedia. Last accessed: Oct 10, 2011.
  2. The Queen's Beasts. H. Standord. NEWMAN NEAME LONDON (1953). ASIN: B00271U80C.

October 10, 2011