An epic statue commemorating the late Queen Elizabeth is due to be unveiled later this year in Rutland county in the East Midlands, UK, depicting the late monarch as a young mother surrounded by Corgi dogs. The work pre-empts an official memorial in the pipeline overseen by the Royal Household and the UK government.
The Rutland statue, made by the London-based sculptor Hywel Brân Pratley, will stand outside the library in the town of Oakham. “This as I understand it is the first commissioned as a memorial to the Queen. There were others which were being worked on before her death, some finished and completed, some finished and still not yet unveiled,” Pratley told the Telegraph.
The sculpture measures seven foot and is made of 800 kilograms of clay and was commissioned by Sarah Furness, the Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland who acts as the representative for royalty within the county.
Furness tells The Art Newspaper: “We hope it will be possible to unveil the statue in the autumn, so quite near the anniversary of the late Queen’s death [on 8 September], possibly October, November or early December. We are hoping that a senior royal might attend the unveiling so we need to see how diaries work out.”
The new sculpture costs £125,000. “All donations were voluntary other than a relatively small grant from the Oakham Memorial Institute. The donations came in varying amounts from £10 to much more. Hundreds of people from all walks of life and businesses across Rutland contributed,” adds Furness.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Office (UK government) is moving ahead with a national memorial. “Careful consideration will be given in due course to the commissioning of an official national memorial to Queen Elizabeth II,” said the Cabinet Office in a statement issued last month.
In guidance for communities wishing “to mark the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II”, the Office said: “Requests that incorporate ‘memorial’ or ‘remembrance’ in a proposed name are likely to be looked upon favourably, where possible. The full title of Queen Elizabeth II will continue to be closely protected and only be granted for applications with strong royal connections.”
Other works honouring Queen Elizabeth will also form part of the UK public art narrative. The monumental work Ascendant: The Elizabeth Landmark by the sculptor Simon Hitchens—sited on the remote moors of Northumberland in north-east England—has moved a step closer with a call for donors.
Meanwhile, the debate continues about whether the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London, should be used for a statue of the late Queen. It had been widely understood that the plinth—which was left empty when Trafalgar Square was created—was reserved for an equestrian statue of Elizabeth II after her death.