Oh, the poor old Duke of Wellington. I’m sure he would have loved a world where visitors to Glasgow flock to photograph his statue. I’m less sure he would been thrilled at the reason for his statue’s iconic status: An orange traffic cone that pranksters place upon his head.
It’s thought that it was a brave, drunken student who scaled the statue and first placed the cone on the Duke’s head. Despite the authorities best efforts to permanently remove the cone over the past thirty years, it’s only ever a matter of days before a new one appears.
During my time in Glasgow, a different variation of cones appeared on the statue each day. One day only the Duke had a hat, the next someone had kindly given his horse one too. One day the cones were the standard orange, the next one was rainbow themed (it happened to be Pride in Glasgow when I visited). 🌈
The statue is a perfect symbol of Glasgow’s rebellious, playful spirit. Long may the cone remain!