Hockney's tribute to Queen to be unveiled

A monumental stained-glass window, designed for the Queen by the artist David Hockney and believed to be based on his paintings of the Yorkshire Wolds, will be unveiled at Westminster Abbey today.

The north transept window (right) at Westminster Abbey for which David Hockney has designed a tribute to the Queen

Secrecy has surrounded the nature of the 20ft artwork, commissioned to mark the reign of the longest-serving monarch in British history, and produced at a studio in York.

Hockney, who was born in Bradford and later lived in Bridlington, on the edge of the Wolds, has promised “a landscape full of blossom that’s a celebration every year”. His work will fill half of one of the few remaining plain-glass windows in the north transept of the Abbey.

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Five years ago, he revealed that he had been invited to paint a portrait of the Queen, but had turned down the offer.

His commission for the Abbey, to be known as the Queen’s Window, was etched on to glass by Helen Whittaker, creative director at Barley Studio in Dunnington, York. She worked with Hockey at his home in Los Angeles.

The Queen, who was married at the Abbey and crowned there in 1953, is expected to formally unveil the work at a later date.

The Dean of Westminster, Dr John Hall, who also discussed the design with Hockney, said: “It will be wonderful to have in the abbey the work of this internationally renowned contemporary British artist who has been honoured by the Queen with membership of the Order of Merit, which is in Her Majesty’s personal gift.”

Hockney’s painting of trees near Bridlington, which is thought to have inspired the window, sold for £9.4m at auction in New York, two years ago.