Queen Elizabeth's Sky-Scraping Jubilee 'Tree' Unveiled!

It's 70 ft. tall!

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II smiles during a visit to the 2022 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 23, 2022. - The Chelsea flower show is held annually in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Queen Elizabeth. Photo: PAUL GROVER/POOL/AFP via Getty

Queen Elizabeth may be small in stature, but she is a towering figure in modern royal history — and today, she was honored with a fitting tribute.

The so-called "Tree of Trees," standing 70 ft. tall in honor of the Queen and her astonishing 70 years on the throne, was unveiled outside Buckingham Palace early on Tuesday.

The living sculpture helps place nature at the heart of the 70-year milestone reached by the Queen, who has planted more than 1,500 trees throughout the world during the course of her reign. The final sections of the sculpture were completed by young "Junior Foresters" on Tuesday, who placed around 350 potted mini trees onto the branches to create the special installation.

Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) Tree of Trees
Tree of Trees. Alamy Stock Photo

Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the tree (and its 80 branches) "stands tall as a message of hope, regeneration and optimism to the nation and the world," stated a press release from the Queen's Green Canopy, which commissioned the sculpture and organized a magnificent tree-planting effort across the U.K. this year. More than one million trees have been planted across the U.K. (including by Kate Middleton and Prince William in Wales) to create a lasting legacy in the Jubilee year.

Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) Tree of Trees
Worker climbs on the Tree of Trees. PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

The Tree of Trees will be lit up as the Principal Beacon in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 2. Around 3,000 beacons, in the form of fires and gaslit torches, will be lit around the U.K. at the same time.

Heatherwick said the Queen approved the plans for the sculpture. "Apparently she gave a big thumbs up so we were excited about that," he shared.

Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) Tree of Trees
Working on the Tree of Trees. PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

After the Junior Foresters from Coppice Primary School and William Torbitt Primary School in Essex, east of London, helped arrange the last of the small trees, they were told about the sculpture's unique irrigation system taking water into each pot and were also given the opportunity to help weave LED lights throughout, which will illuminate the Beacons ceremony.

Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge visit to Blaenavon Hwb, Pontypool, Wales
Prince William and Kate Middleton plant a tree in Wales on March 1. Arthur Edwards/WPA Pool/Shutterstock

The tree stands near the stages that are being constructed for a starry concert that will mark one of the key events of the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

The monarch planted one of the first trees of the campaign in Windsor with her son and heir Prince Charles, and also took part in a ceremony with some children during her stay at Balmoral Castle in Scotland in October.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II takes a tour of the 2022 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 23, 2022. - The Chelsea flower show is held annually in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Queen Elizabeth at the Chelsea Flower Show on May 23. PAUL GROVER/POOL/AFP via Getty

The tree-planting campaign across Britain stopped in March but will begin again in October 2022, through to the end of the Jubilee year. In tandem with the planting, the Queen's Green Canopy is dedicating a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom and identifying 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty's 70 years of service.

Related Articles