The statue of Queen Anne of Great Britain which stands outside the west front of St. Paul’s Cathedral (seen here on the left of the picture), shows which monarch ruled England at the time the cathedral was finally finished in 1710. This statue is not the original that was erected in 1712 and made by Francis Bird, but an exact (though some say inferior) replica made by Richard Belt in 1886 as the original had become dilapidated. It is a Grade I listed building, together with St. Paul’s Cathdral. The ladies around the base of the statue represent England, France, Ireland and North America, as at that time Anne considered herself to be queen of them all.
Anne became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702, succeeding her brother-in-law, William III of England and II of Scotland.
On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union 1707, England and Scotland were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain. Anne became its first sovereign, while continuing to hold the separate crown of Queen of Ireland and the title of Queen of France. Anne reigned for twelve years until her death in August 1714. Anne was therefore the last Queen of England and the last Queen of Scots.
Despite her father’s Catholicism, Anne was brought up as a Protestant. On July 28th, 1683, Anne married Prince George of Denmark. She got pregnant on seventeen occasions but only gave birth to five living children all of whom died in childhood. Anne never enjoyed good health and this got worse as she got older. She died on 1 August 1714.
I’m not usually keen on using lens distortion for effect (quite the opposite, I usually straigthen out my shots), but in this case I thought that the extreme wide-angle distortion suited the subject well, as everything appears to be gravitating towards the centre frame, with the leading lines pulling the energy and power towards the monarch. Not a conventional composition by any means, but I like it :-)
[Sony a350, Sigma 10-20@10mm, f:5, 1/200sec, ISO-100, EV+1; HDR from a single RAW file & converted to BW]
Alternative view of St. Paul’s & Queen Anne