Almost 271 years after Queen Anne of England signed a charter that created Queen Anne County on Maryland's Eastern Shore, a statue in her honor will be unveiled by her namesake, Princess Anne.
The princess will unveil a statue of the 18th century queen at the county courthouse square in Centreville on Saturday. The ceremony, scheduled for noon, will be free and open to the public.
The well-wrapped, 800-pound statue arrived at the courthouse during a heavy rainstorm last week. Sculptress Elisabeth Gordon Chandler of Old Lyme, Conn., was present to supervise the unloading of her work from a farmer's truck which had transported the bronze from New York to Centreville.
On hand was Wye Institute President Arthur Houghton, who had commissioned the statue. Houghton is also chairman of Steuben Glass Co. and director of Corning Glass Co. The Wye Institute was found in 1963 to assist the people of the Eastern Shore in economic, educational and cultural areas. Houghton owns the Wye Plantation in Queen Anne County where the princess will be staying both Friday and Saturday nights. She also will be visiting Washington.
Chandler, who has been working on the statue for about two years, refused to have the statue viewed to the dedication. She described the queen as seat on a Queen Anne chair holding the charter she has just signed. Next to her is a Queen Anne candle stand. Behind the chair a spaniel sleeps.
County administrator George Aldridge Jr. said the town has been preparing for the dedication in a quiet manner. "There has been some painting going on. And the local women's club planted the trees you see along the square. But that's about it," he said.
Aldridge wants to keep the dedication "100 per cent non-commercial." Vendors will kept at least two blocks from the courthouse, he said. But he expected many people to buy British flags to wave.
Police Chief Charles I. Tarbutton is not likely to see the princess. He and his five man police force will be directing traffic, he said. Early arrivals may be able to park on a lot north of the courthouse but Turbutton said the most mototrist will be directed to parking on side streets and to the roads into town. Centreville is about 20 miles east of the Bay Bridge.