After the passing of Britain’s beloved Queen Elizabeth after 70 years of her service to the country, UK citizens are dubbing the late monarch ‘Elizabeth the Great’.
Discussions about how the Queen will be honored and remembered in England’s capital are underway; from Nelson’s Column to the spectacular Royal Albert Hall, London is awash with amazing tributes to its historic people. But the capital’s liberal mayor, Sadiq Khan has quashed the idea of a tribute which seemed the most obvious example to most.
Outside the Houses of Parliament, numerous statues of historical figures stand. The likenesses of Sir Winston Churchill, Oliver Cromwell, Sir Robert Peel, and Millicent Fawcett proudly stand in tourist-riddled Parliament Square as a collective British nod to the feats they achieved for their country.
But Labour Party mayor, Khan has astounded patriotic Brits as he announced earlier today that a fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square most assumed would be reserved for a statue of the Queen upon her death would be used for Black Lives Matter propaganda.
Khan said instead of honoring the Queen, he approved plans for a statue of Malawian anti-colonialist, John Chilembwe who led a revolt against the British in 1915 in Nyasaland before he was killed.
A statue of a Malawian preacher who revolted against British colonizers is now in Trafalgar Square, London.
It's based on a photo of John Chilembwe in a hat next to a British man, defying bans on Africans wearing hats near white people. Chilembwe is shown towering over the man. pic.twitter.com/TxAj34qR0i
— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 28, 2022
A spokesman for Khan said:
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“The fourth plinth will continue to showcase new works by world-class artists for the foreseeable future. There are planned fourth plinth exhibits for the next four years. Samson Kambalu’s new commission, unveiled today, Antelope, will be in situ until September 2024.”
The statue’s Malawi-born artist, Samson Kambalu, a fine arts professor at the University of Oxford said that lots of people won’t know who Chilembwe was, which is why he wanted to honor him with a statue. “Before the uprising he made a photograph with his friend, they were simply standing side by side wearing hats, and he distributed this photograph amongst his followers as a political stance to say ‘We are equal to white people so I can wear a hat in front of a white person. Of course, he was killed months later, but his message lived onSo he’s not only proposing equality and injustice, but he’s also proposing actually a radical economy right in the middle of the Empire.”
Next to the anti-colonial statue, another ‘art piece’ consisting of 850 biodegradable casts of transgender sex workers. “A statue of the Queen at a suitable location in London is a matter for the Royal Family to consider and, of course, the Greater London Authority stands ready to support them in their wishes,” said Khan’s office, but thus far there has been no wider discussion and no consultation with the British public, which would seem fitting considering the Queen’s loyalty to her people.
A truly beautiful commemoration and remembrance of Her Majesty The Queen at her statue in Newmarket. We thank all of those who have visited and contributed. pic.twitter.com/kuop8B66w5
— Jockey Club Rooms (@JockeyClubRooms) September 21, 2022
The decision has enraged patriotic Brits who feel that the capital’s liberal mayor has deliberately snubbed giving a monument to the Queen pride a place. The Telegraph’s foreign policy analyst, Nile Gardiner Tweeted, “London’s far left mayor is an absolute disgrace”.
Another user Tweeted that the country as a whole should get to decide where and how it honors its late Queen. “For a mayor who has done so much to alienate the capital from its country, this move drives another wedge between them. Trafalgar Sq. may or may not be the right site for the Queen’s national memorial. But it should be the country that decides, not the mayor”.