To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty The Queen on 2 June 2013, the church where she was crowned, Westminster Abbey, has had two new stained-glass windows commissioned and installed. The two new windows have been installed in the Henry VII Lady Chapel, replacing blank glazing on each side of Alan Younger’s east window, and are the first to be commissioned by the abbey in over ten years.
The windows were designed by artist Hughie O’Donoghue, and were translated from full-size cartoons into glass by Helen Whittaker of Barley Studio. They incorporate symbols and emblems related to the Virgin Mary – lilies, symbols of the Annunication and purity; stars, a symbol of the Conception – also feature the fleur de lys, which has long been associated with royalty.
The three-tier, five-light windows were designed to be one complete work, surrounding the east window and drawing the eye upwards. The glass shines with blue and golden tones; the blues – the traditional colour of the Virgin – range from a pale to an almost violet hue, and complement the golden ceiling of the chapel.
The panels were in place in time for the service to mark the anniversary, which was held in the abbey on 4 June 2013.