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The Jubilee Gifts

In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II marked her Platinum Jubilee – the first time such a milestone was reached in the United Kingdom. Princess Elizabeth became Queen on 6 February 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI. She was crowned on 2 June 1953 in Westminster Abbey. To mark this historic 70-year reign, Platinum Jubilee celebrations took place throughout the UK and the Commonwealth in 2022.

Members from both Houses of Parliament funded and presented gifts to Queen Elizabeth II for every Jubilee in her reign. These form permanent additions to the Parliamentary Estate.

Use the buttons below to see the Jubilee gifts at Parliament. 

Header Image: Jess Taylor/UK Parliament

A 3/4 length painted portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in a modern style. The Queen is facing forwards with her hands clasped in front of her. She wears a diamond crown and necklace, and a black sash across a short sleeve cream dress. The portrait is gestural with thick paintbrush strokes. The background is black. The Queen has a neutral facial expression, cropped and curled brown hair, and a white bracelet around one wrist. On top of the black sash, at her shoulder, are two patches or badges.

The Jubilee Gifts

A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in 1992, in the year of her Ruby Jubilee.

Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II, Painting by Henry Mee © Henry Mee, Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection WOA 4826

Fountain of three large animals with three smaller above and a crown at the top made of steel standing in a pool of water with stone edging. The base figures depict three stylised horses rearing up with their backs to each other. In between their heads is a circluar base supporting smaller figures, an eagle to the left and a unicorn to the right, these in turn support a large gold crown between their heads. The base figures stand on three blocks in the pool of the fountain. The fountain is pictured in a garden with buildings behind it.

Sculptor Walenty Pytel created the Jubilee Fountain for New Palace Yard in 1977. Gifted by Members of the House of Commons, it marks Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee, and is the first of the jubilee gifts.

The fountain displays heraldic animals representing the six continents of the British Commonwealth. The lion for Africa, unicorn for Europe, tiger for Asia, eagle for the Americas, kangaroo for Australasia, and the penguin for Antarctica. Together they hold the St Stephen’s Crown of Westminster Parliament.

Sir Robert Cooke MP was an expert on the history and design of the Palace of Westminster. He managed the commissioning of the gift, chairing a Jubilee Fountain Committee of Members, and the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art approved the Fountain design.

Jubilee Fountain, Sculpture by Walenty Pytel © Walenty Pytel, Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection WOA S265

A metal disc embedded amongst paving stones. The bronze coloured circle includes a line down the centre with many dates written either side. Below reads 'STAND ON THE LINE NEAREST TODAYS DATE'. Above the metal disk, inlaid into grey paving stones are the words 'QUEEN ELIZABETH II GOLDEN JUBILEE 2002'. Another circle of paving has numbers carved into the stone at usual positions. The next row of stone is terracotta, before another light coloured circle of stones where we can see a partial inscription. The part we can see reads 'how many years a mortal man may live'

For the Golden Jubilee in 2002, Quentin Newark designed a sundial for Old Palace Yard. 

The piece is an analemmatic sundial, where a moving vertical piece must be in place to cast a shadow. In this case, the vertical piece – also known as the gnomon – is a person. By standing on the dial at the closest date, your shadow will tell the time.

Around the dial, a quote from Shakespeare’s Henry VI part III can be found.  ‘To carve out dials quaintly, point by point, thereby to see the minutes how they run:   how many makes the hour full complete, how many hours brings about the day, how many days will finish up the year, how many years a mortal man may live.’

© UK Parliament 2021 / Roger Harris

A large arched window with gothic tracery. The light from the window casts the tracery into shadow, appearing black and in high contrast with the glass. The majority of glass is clear with diamond lead crossing it. The central part of the window features a bright stained glass coat of arts with a yellow lion on the left, and a white unicorn on the right. At the bottom of the design the letters read ‘E R II’

Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee took place in 2012.

A stained-glass window was commissioned from artist John Reyntiens to mark the occasion. It is made of around 1,500 separate pieces and is installed above the north door in Westminster Hall. This gift was arranged by Michael Ellis MP.

In the Diamond Jubilee Year, the Palace of Westminster’s clocktower, home to the famous bell Big Ben, was renamed the Elizabeth Tower to mark 60 years of service.

© Reyntiens Glass Studio

Print depicting the inside of a glass roofed building. The scene captures people milling about an atrium space, and a TV crew filming a reporter in the foreground. There are trees in long beds inside the glass roofed space. Through the roof we can see the exterior of a modern building, and the clockfaces of the Elizabeth Tower. The colours are mostly tones of blue, with some ochre, and black outlines.

Also in 2012, the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art commissioned six artists to produce limited edition prints of Portcullis House as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Designed by Sir Michael Hopkins, Portcullis House is a centre of House of Commons activity. Queen Elizabeth II opened the building in 2001. Each artist undertook a short residency to observe day-to-day life in the building.

The artists work in different styles and printing techniques and hail from across the United Kingdom. Each gave the Artist’s Proof and first edition to the Collection – these are the first two works off the printing plate. Each paper is embossed with the official Diamond Jubilee logo.

Portcullis House Atrium by Tobias Till (born 1969)
Linocut on paper, Artist Proof, edition of 40, 2012
Commissioned by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, 2012

Portcullis House Atrium, Print by Tobias Till © Tobias Till, Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection WOA 7381

A graphic print depicting parts of a modern building and a representation of the Elizabeth Tower. The centre foreground shows the back of a sculpture of Winston Churchill on a plinth. The left of the foreground has a figure of a person in a suit holding out their arms. Behind the buildings are some mottled pink shapes which may represent a sky. The print has a white background.

Portcullis by Paul Catherall (born 1967)
Linocut on paper, Artist Proof, edition of 40, 2012
Commissioned by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, 2012
WOA 7385

Portcullis, Print by Paul Catherall © Paul Catherall, Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection WOA 7379

A print in a modern style depicting figures in a glass-walled office. Figures in suits lean against a long desk, with attendants stood behind. Papers are piled on the desk, and shelves are behind. One glass door is propped open. The words ‘Vote Office’ in white lettering can be seen on a glass wall panel. A woman in a light suit jacket can be seen sitting down in front of the glass wall panel, her bag beside her and holding her phone to her ear. The floor and walls are a pale yellow, while most of the figures are monochrome. A figure behind the desk holds an open folder with a bright red outline.

The Vote Office – Portcullis House by Chloe Cheese (born 1952)
Lithograph on paper, Artist Proof, edition of 30, 2012
Commissioned by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, 2012

The Vote Office – Portcullis House, Print by Chloe Cheese © Chloe Cheese, Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection WOA 7377

A print depicting the roof of a modern building, with the London Eye partially appearing behind it. The modern building has a dark roof with two tall cylindrical ventilation shafts protruding. The sky behind is grey. One traditional brick chimney can be seen in the left hand side of the print.

Untitled by Frances Walker (born 1930)
Screenprint on paper, Artist Proof, edition of 50, 2012
Commissioned by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, 2012

Untitled, Print by Frances Walker © Frances Walker, Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection WOA 7602

A modern partially abstract print depicting an office space. In the left-hand side of the composition there is a desk and office chair, with a framed artwork above it. An abstracted line-drawing of a suited figure stands in the background. The central portion of the composition features a doorway, and a person sat in a desk chair, leaning towards their laptop with a suit jacket hanging off the seat rest. Another figure stands behind them. To the right of the composition there is the head and shoulders of a man, and the figure of a women walking out of a door, as if out of the right-hand side of the print. The top portion of the print features some suggestions of gothic architecture, and a flapping union jack flag. The print uses black, white, green, yellow and red as the palette.

Untitled by Michael Kirkman (born 1986)
Linocut on paper, 10 of edition of 30, 2012
Commissioned by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, 2012

Untitled, Print by Michael Kirkman © Michael Kirkman, Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection WOA 7382

An abstract modern print. The work consists of many straight thin lines which suggest geometric and architectural elements such as a roof, windows, structural supports, or railings. The print is mostly monochrome, with one red diamond (made of several smaller red diamonds) to the left of the composition, and some shapes in a sky blue colour to the right. Many of the thin lies converge as a point in bottom centre of the work.

TQ302797 by Bronwen Sleigh (born 1980)
Etching on paper, Artist Proof, edition of 30, 2012
Commissioned by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, 2012

TQ302797, Print by Bronwen Sleigh © Bronwen Sleigh, Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection WOA 7378

A sketch depicting two ornate lampposts atop a short flight of steps. The lampposts are tall and black, topped with golden crowns. At the bottom are an array of heraldic style animals including a lion and a stag, each holding a shield, surrounding the base of each post. The background of the illustration features part of a grand gothic style building. The background details are fainter than the lampposts, making them the clear focus of the drawing. Around the lampposts are some shrubs and small winter trees. On the steps, text reads ‘ THE PLATINUM JUBILEE QUEEN ELIZABETH II MCMLII – MMXX’

To mark the Platinum Jubilee in 2022, the gift from Members is a pair of unique bronze sculptures designed by Tim Crawley. The design features the four heraldic beasts of the United Kingdom – the Lion of England, the Unicorn of Scotland, the Dragon of Wales, and the Irish Elk of Northern Ireland. They are cast in bronze by Morris Singer Art Foundry. Atop the animals sit illuminated crowns crafted by William Sugg Lighting.

Installed in New Palace Yard, the lampposts align the Diamond Jubilee Window and Silver Jubilee Fountain.

Their lamps symbolise the guiding light that Queen Elizabeth II was to Parliament throughout her reign.  Michael Ellis MP again coordinated this gift on behalf of the Members of both Houses of Parliament.

Artists Impression © Tim Crawley 

Painting depicting Queen Elizabeth II. She is standing on a step and is angled towards the left. She holds her hands in front of her body and has a neutral facial expression. She is wearing an ornate white embroidered gown with a long red robe, which trails over the step below. On top of her brown hair is a diamond crown. The background is mostly taken up a by a large red curtain which the Queen is in front of. Behind the curtain we can see part of a classical pillar, and through to the blue sky and city behind.

HM The Queen – 70 Years of Service

Visit our online exhibition with partner Art UK to see more works from our own and other collections which tell the story of the many duties which Queen Elizabeth II undertook.

Queen Elizabeth II at the State Opening of Parliament 1962, Painting by Alfred Kingsley Lawrence © Alfred Kingsley Lawrence, Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection WOA 1703

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