The blue plaque traditionally is placed on buildings across the country where notable people were born or lived to commemorate their life. A person must have been dead for 20 years to receive the honour, or at least 100 years must have passed since their birth, such as the case for the Queen Mother.
Because there is some confusion about The Queen Mother’s birthplace, a more likely solution that has been proposed is that the plaque be placed on her parents’ house near Victoria Station in London, where she lived as a child, and a property in Sloane Street.
The only other member of the Royal Family (albeit extended Royal Family) to be afforded a blue plaque in their honour is the Earl Mountbatten who was murdered by the IRA in 1979.
Newly released minutes from the panel’s meeting in October, state that a plaque to the Queen Mother would make a “welcome addition to the scheme” as the Queen Mother was an “iconic and influential figure, with exceptional popularity”.
Other members of foreign Royal and Imperial families have plaques in their honour too; Charles X, the last Bourbon King of France, (1757-1836) who is commemorated at his former home in South Audley Street, Mayfair; King Haakon VII (1872-1957) at 10 Palace Green, Kensington, from where he led the Norwegian government-in-exile between 1940 and 1945; and Napoleon III (1808-1873). His plaque is, in King Street, St James’s, is the earliest surviving blue plaque. It was put up in 1867, before his death – which is no longer permitted.
The plaque scheme, which only covers London addresses, started in the 1860s and so far more than 870 have been awarded. English Heritage took over stewardship in 1986 and has installed around 350.
photo credit: jake–sylvester via photopin cc
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