A royal resident is touching people’s hearts by unveiling a 30 foot statue in honour of his father, a Polish war hero.

Polish Prince Janek Zylinski, who has lived in Ealing all his life, has named the statue of his father The Gold Horseman, in recognition of the victorious cavalry charge Captain Andrzej Zylinski led against the Germans as they invaded Poland in 1939.

The prince will reveal his design, carried out by artist Robert Sobocinski, on September 12, the 75th anniversary of the cavalry charge, along with the President of Poland.

The statue, made of gilt-bronze and weighing 40 tons, will stand in the Polish town Kaluszyn, an hour from Warsaw where the cavalry charge took place, and Mr Zylinski is hoping to set up screens around Ealing Common so that local people can be part of the event.

Captain Zylinski, then aged 29, led a squadron of 88 horsemen of whom 33 died in the bloody charge, wiping out the German 44th Infantry Regiment, but liberating Kaluszyn and saving 6,000 Jews in the process.

The prince has organised a re-enactment of this on the anniversary with a specialist squadron dressed in Second World War uniforms and is finalising arrangements for a concert by a famous Polish rock star, whose identity has not yet been revealed- all of which he hopes will be screened on Ealing Common the following day (September 14).

 

Mr Zylinski said: “Many religions say you should honour your father and mother. I feel privileged to be able to honour my father in this way but it’s not just dedicated to him, it’s for the whole of the cavalry. He did not get recognition for his finest hour, all he got was criticism. I can relate to that.

“I did not know my father, I was six when he died in London in 1958. By doing this now, I am meeting him. I read about his cavalry charge on the internet and thought he is just like me. The feedback I have had for the statue has been 100 per cent positive. The purpose of it is about the past but also about the present and future.

“We are going to celebrate the day of The Gold Horseman every year, even in Ealing, so that it educates young people.”

The statue, which took six months to make, is based on an early 19th century painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps on horseback.

About 50 members of Mr Zylinski’s family, who go back to 1224 as a royal family, and hundreds of friends will attend the unveiling.

The prince said: “The family are knocked out by this but are hardly surprised because all my life I have been doing outrageous things.”

Mr Zylinski caused controversy when he built his palace, The White House, along with The Marble Arch, in Park View Road, Ealing, based on a promise he made to recreate his grandmother’s house which was burnt down by communists in Poland.

Mr Zylinski said: “I decided to build a marble arch in 1990. I did not know when, how or where but through the power of visualisation it happened. It’s the power of positive thinking- that’s the power my father had too.”

Celebrities including Rita Ora, Britney Spears, Victoria Beckham, Rihanna and Leona Lewis have had photoshoots at the palace and British TV drama Secret Diary of a Call Girl was filmed there.