• Michael

The Queen Elizabeth II Equestrian Monument

According to the Governor General of Canada website, The Queen Elizabeth II Equestrian Monument was the first equestrian statue of her majesty the queen. The Statue depicts Queen Elizabeth II astride her horse Centenial. Centenial was a gift from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to mark the police forces' 100th anniversary in 1977. Apparently, the spelling of the name Centenial (removing the second “n”) was deliberate.

The monument was initially unveiled on Parliament Hill by the Queen on “July 1, 1992 in honour of the 125th anniversary of Confederation and the 40th anniversary of her reign.” Created by Jack Harman (1927–2001) a Canadian sculptor from Vancouver, British Columbia, the imposing bronze statue is 1.5 times larger than life standing 4 meters tall above a 3.7 meter tall granite base. According to an article in the Ottawa Citizen (09 Aug 2009: A.6), the monument cost $600,000 and weighs 1,225 kilograms.

Formerly situated on Parliament Hill, this monument has been temporarily relocated since May 2019 to the roundabout in front of the Governor Generals residence due to ongoing major restoration work being done to the central block on Parliament Hill.

Since this Queen Elizabeth II equestrian monument was unveiled, two others have popped up. A second bronze statue by Philip Jackson of Queen Elizabeth II mounted astride her horse was unveiled in October of 2003 in Windsor Great Park, Surrey, England. A third bronze statue by Susan Velder of the Queen mounted side-saddle on her horse Burmese was unveiled by Her Majesty in 2005 in Regina, Canada. Her horse, Burmese was also a gift from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

I often travel through this area to take the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Pkwy to visit family in the area. For me, this monument largely appeared out of nowhere, but represents itself in a manner that says I have always been here. I figured that I must have missed mention of its unveiling. I always wondered why there was little hype or fanfare for such an impressive monument. It was only after writing this blog post that I realized it was formerly from a site on Parliament Hill.

Location Address: 1 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A1, Canada