The British Artist David Hockney has been commissioned to design a stained glass window in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The Monarch marked her 90th birthday and in 2015 became the nation’s longest reigning Queen. Last month she became the world’s longest reigning monarch, following the death of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Mr Hockney said he has “planned a landscape full of blossom that’s a celebration every year.” The 20ft (6.1m) x 6ft (1.8m) window in the abbey’s north transept will be known as The Queen’s Window. Hockney’s design will be installed in one of the Westminster Abbey’s few remaining clear windows, in the north transept. The window will join another work in stained glass celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, installed in the abbey two years ago. The window will be installed by June 2018, to coincide with the planned opening of the Queen’s Jubilee Gallery in the abbey.
David Hockney had once missed down the chance to paint the Queen because he was “too busy”, he finally painted her in 2012, composing an image of the Diamond Jubilee river pageant on an iPad as he watched it on TV.
A Westminster Abbey spokesman said Hockney was chosen as he was “probably the greatest contemporary British artist”. Given that he has “been awarded the Order of Merit by the Queen” he was the “most appropriate choice” for the commission, the spokesman added.Hockney “will have pretty much free rein because he’s David Hockney”, but he will be given guidance by abbey officials.
“We’re as interested as everyone else to see what he comes up with,” the spokesman added.
“The Queen is certainly aware of the proposal and there will be continual briefings from us.”
The cost is being covered by two anonymous benefactors.