A large stained-glass window has been unveiled in the Palace of Westminster to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.
The piece, designed by a chap who is considered to be extraordinarily brilliant – An SW 8 British artist John Reyntiens – Is utterly wonderful according to those fortunate to have seen his work. His brilliant glasswork will go on permanent display above the North Door of Westminster Hall later this year.
Featuring her Royal Arms, it is a gift to the Queen from both Houses of Parliament.
The unveiling came ahead of a speech to peers and MPs.
The Conservative MP Michael Ellis, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, suggested the gift.
The design and installation are being funded by personal contributions from members of both Houses.
Mr Reyntiens worked with draftsmen, painters and technicians to create the window, which consists of up to 1,500 pieces of glass and is inspired by 17th Century heraldic art.
The window features images of a golden lion and white unicorn on either side of the Royal coat of arms.
The designer told the BBC it was a “very time consuming” process, with some of the pieces being “fired” in the kiln six times.
“I just wanted it to be full of life, exciting and not just like a standard studio production,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One.
While demand for stained glass windows was not as great as in past centuries, he said he continued to get commissions for modern buildings and designers had to “diversify”.
He added: “I really wanted this job and I felt I would do it well if I got the opportunity.”
The north window of Westminster Hall has been fitted with plain glass since the Reformation, which was replaced after damage in 1974.
The south window features the arms or initials of members and staff of both Houses who were killed in the Second World War, set around the centrepiece of the Royal Arms of the Queen’s father, King George VI.