King Charles III has unveiled a new sculpture of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II on the 8th of November 2022, describing it as “a tribute to a life of extraordinary service and devotion”.
The statue, which was commissioned to celebrate the late Queen’s platinum jubilee and was completed in August 2022, a month before her death, stands on the entrance to York’s cathedral, looking out over a square to be named in her honour.
It depicts a “mature” Queen Elizabeth dressed in her Order of the Garter Robes and wearing the George IV diadem traditionally used for the State Opening of Parliament.
The statue was designed and carved by Richard Bossons, a cathedral stonemason, standing at two metres tall.
The sculpture weighs 1.1 tonnes and is made from lepine limestone from France.
Speaking at the ceremony at York Minster, King Charles III said: “The late Queen was always vigilant for the welfare of her people during her life. Now her image will watch over what will become Queen Elizabeth Square for centuries to come.”
King Charles III and the Queen Consort, Camilla, attended a service for the unveiling of the statue which was done in front of hundreds of people outside the 850 years old holy building.
Speaking after the ceremony, the Archbishop of York, the Most Rev Stephen Cottrell – said since Queen Elizabeth’s death, the statue now has added poignancy.
Joking about the torrential rain as the statue was unveiled, he added: “We did a bit of a double act – he [the King] unveiled the statue and I blessed the statue, and of course The Lord provided a heavenly sprinkling from above. What could be better?”
Charles III said he and his wife, the Queen Consort, were “deeply touched” to have been asked to unveil the statue.
It is the first statue of the Queen since her death on 8th September 2022.
Story: Elizabeth Ereke