The First Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Statue Unveiled

Wednesday, April 24, 2024
The First Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Statue Unveiled

Rutland’s bronze memorial to the late Queen Elizabeth II, her first memorial statue to be erected in the UK, was unveiled in Oakham on Sunday 21st April 2024 – on what would have been Her Late Majesty’s 98th birthday.

The veil was removed jointly by the Monarch’s Representative in the county of Rutland, Lord-Lieutenant Dr Sarah Furness; the local head of the Monarch’s Church, The Rt Rev Debbie Sellin and the local representative of the Monarch’s Government, MP Alicia Kearns.

The statue shows Her Late Majesty in mid-life, her profile familiar to all in the UK from our coins, stamps and banknotes, in full regal dress. But in a deliberate attempt to emphasise her warmth and humanity the statue incorporates three corgis, her favourite dogs.

This prompted a simultaneous meeting of the UK Corgi Club; about 40 corgis attended and were (mostly) very well behaved. Many ‘selfies’ were taken with the bronze corgis at the foot of the statue.

The statue was funded almost entirely by donations from numerous members of the public, mainly in Rutland, which were generously given once the Lord-Lieutenant announced her plan to raise funds for such a memorial after the State Funeral. Major donors (excluding those who declined the publicity) are named around the base of the plinth. The only ‘taxpayer’s money’ involved was an unsolicited (but gratefully received) donation from Oakham Town Council, as the statue will be a permanent attraction in Oakham. Rutland County Council allowed the statue to be erected on its land, but did not give any financial support.

It was sculpted by Hywel Pratley and cast in bronze by the LeBlanc foundry at Saxby, near Melton.

Main Image From left to right: Judge Richard Hedley; Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Peterborough; Sarah Furness, Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland; Alicia Kearns, MP for Melton and Rutland and Hywel Pratley, the sculptor.

Stephanie Cime

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