British Queen Anne statue.

Statue of a British Queen

Field review by the editors.

Centreville, Maryland

A bronze statue of a British monarch is only an hour's drive from downtown Washington, DC. Queen Anne sits outside the courthouse of Queen Anne's County, although that obvious connection doesn't make the presence of long-vanquished royalty any less peculiar.

Anne was crowned queen in 1702, so obese and gout-ridden -- at barely 37 years old -- that she had to be carried to her coronation in a chair. Twelve years later, when she died, her swollen body had to be buried in a square coffin.

British Queen Anne statue.

As a monarch Anne was middling, but she did play a role in the American Revolution. By the time she became queen she had been pregnant 18 times, and yet all of her children were already dead. Her inability to produce a surviving heir led to the coronation of a German, George I, as her royal successor, and it was his descendent, George III, whose policies fanned the flames of America's revolt.

Despite the outcome of the Revolutionary War, Queen Anne's County saw no reason to change its name, and the statue was dedicated on June 17, 1977, less than a year after America's bicentennial. Awkward? Not to the local wealthy landowner who paid for it. Despite its prominent position in the courthouse square, Queen Anne's County had little to do with the Queen Anne statue.

Elisabeth Gordon Chandler sculpted Queen Anne as a deceptively healthy woman (although she is sitting in a chair). Her crown rests on a Queen-Anne-style table, and in her lap is the charter she signed in 1706 creating Queen Anne County. The statue's dedication was attended by both the British ambassador to the U.S. and by Queen Anne's namesake, 26-year-old HRH Princess Anne of Great Britain. She unveiled the statue, although a local non-loyalist newspaper reported that she was far more interested in a nearby horse show.

Also see: American Royalty

Statue of a British Queen

Address:
100 Courthouse Square, Centreville, MD
Directions:
From US Hwy 301/Blue Star Memorial Hwy exit north onto Hwy 213/Centreville Rd. Drive 2.5 miles into downtown. You'll see a small courthouse square on the left; the statue stands in the middle of it, under the trees.
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September 20, 2018

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