The People's Monarch

the peoples Monarch

‘The People’s Monarch’ was commissioned by BBC South East, and depicts the Queen at the time of her coronation and at her Diamond Jubilee. It is 38 square metres and contains 5,000 photos. Its current home is at Gatwick Airport after touring at the Towner Gallery, the Turner Contemporary and Rochester Cathedral.

The People’s Monarch Stories

Helen Marshall says: Many people submitted family portraits, photos of their ancestors, snaps of important occasions in their lives and of times that made them laugh. Some viewers also used the opportunity to share precious memories of loved ones they had lost. Everyday family snapshots, scans of photos of ancestors or from an era gone by, times of celebration and ceremony or times of trouble and loss, all remind us of our century old love affair with the camera. But more important, this project proves that we do not need to be professional photographers or artists to be recognised or represented in a artwork, and that the photograph has a unique and simple ability to speak directly to all of us, no matter of our differences.”

” I want this picture to represent our proud multicultural Britain. No matter how much you adapt to another culture, it doesn’t mean you lose your cultural roots.” – Baljit Balrow, contributor

BBC South East Today covered the project on prime time regional news. Watch some of the footage here on our Media Channel. More than 5,000 BBC viewers and listeners in the South East helped create a unique artwork to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.




Rochester Cathedral is England’s second oldest, having been founded in 604AD by Bishop Justus. The Cathedral became a major place of pilgrimage in the 13th century.

Gatwick Airport is an excellent place to showcase this wonderful piece of artwork which holds the memories and emotions of a cross-section of the great British public.

Gatwick Airport Spokesperson

We were thrilled that over 25,000 people were able to view the artwork.

Rochester Cathedral Spokesperson

Busiest weekend since our launch. Over 10,000 visit across the 2 days.

Turner Contemporary Spokesperson



Square Metres

Days of Reign of QEII