Alexandra Gardens, Windsor

A birthday present for Her Majesty, The Queen on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Please read the captions under the photographs for the full story.

When Her Majesty is not only having a 90th birthday but is also celebrating becoming the country’s longest serving monarch and 6 decades of service to the armed forces that defend the UK, then choosing an appropriate present could be a little bit of a tricky problem.

However, The Queen is rumoured to like a bandstand and it just so happened that the example that used to feature in Alexandra Gardens, a park near her home at Windsor Castle, had been lost some considerable time ago. Windsor and Maidenhead Council decided that they should reinstall a replica of the original Edwardian bandstand and that Lost Art Limited’s reputation meant that they were just the people to carry out the job.

Having done our historical research, using sources such as historic postcards and illustrations, a design, a colour scheme and a (rather tight) time scale were agreed with the council. Given that The Queen had agreed to perform a ceremony in the town on the day before her birthday, there was no room for error on the completion date. Apparently she did not know exactly what had been planned, so we were careful not to let it slip.

Work quickly transferred from the casting and preparation stage at the Lost Art workshop to installation on site in the park. The project was completed on budget and in time for the celebrations to begin.

The actual presentation and opening of the bandstand was a spectacular event. In front of a huge gathering of the world’s media, The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and the remainder of the Royal Party walked through the gardens, accompanied by 500 school children. The festivities included singing and acting performances by the children, followed by music from a military band on the new bandstand.

Finally, the unveiling of the commemorative plaque took place. Like the bandstand, this had also been produced by Lost Art Limited and so it was only fitting that Her Majesty was introduced to Lost Art’s Managing Director, Dominic Liptrot.

The bandstand can be seen from Windsor Castle. Hopefully Her Majesty will enjoy the view and remember a special day!