The Duke of York statue is located at the top of the Duke of York Steps, on the north side of The Mall. It features a bronze statue of the Duke of York on a 124ft column.
It was installed in memory of Frederick William (1763-1827), Commander in Chief of the British Army and second son of King George III. He is probably The Grand Old Duke of York of the nursery rhyme.
The statue was designed by Sir Richard Westmacott in 1834. The 124ft column was designed by Benjamin Wyatt.
The Duke of York was a highly proficient Commander-in-Chief whose administrative reforms won the praise of Wellington. Unfortunately he was less successful in his private life. The revelation that his mistress, Mary Anne Clarke, was selling commissions forced his resignation. Although he was reinstated, he died in debt. It was claimed that he was placed on a column to avoid the claims of his creditors.
The monument cost £21,000 and much of it was raised by soldiers who donated a day's pay.