Photo Credit BBC

Royal Tribute Unveiled with First Memorial Statue of the Late Queen on Her 98th Birthday Featuring Beloved Corgis

In a heartfelt tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, a towering seven-foot bronze statue was unveiled in the quaint market town of Oakham in Rutland, on what would have been her 98th birthday. This unveiling marked the first statue of the monarch since her passing, drawing an enthusiastic crowd and nearly fifty corgis, echoing the joyous spirit of the event.

Situated outside the local library, the statue captures a younger depiction of Queen Elizabeth, standing tall at seven feet, despite her real-life height of just 5’4″. The bronze sculpture, draped in flowing robes, features three corgis at her feet, symbolizing her well-known affection for the breed, via Mirror.

Local residents expressed immense pride and admiration for the installation. Hilda Townsend, a local, praised the statue, saying, “It is just wonderful. We are the tiniest county but the first to honor the late majesty in such a big way. It is a very fitting tribute.” Her husband, John, echoed her sentiments, highlighting the pride felt by the community.

The statue, costing £125,000, was commissioned by Dr. Sarah Furness, the Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland, following the Queen’s death in September 2022, according to BBC. Sculptor Hywel Pratley shared his vision for the statue, noting its potential popularity among the Instagram generation. “The plinth is designed to be sat on, and I can see the statue becoming popular with the Instagram generation, and why not? It will make a perfect backdrop for pictures, and people will be able to reach up and pat a dog or, if small enough, even sit on its back!” he explained to the 400-strong crowd.

Pratley also incorporated the corgis into his design as a playful nod and to reflect the Queen’s humanity and approachability. Work on the project began with maquettes in January, followed by a smaller version displayed at Oakham Castle before the final unveiling.

The project, fueled by community donations, quickly met its financial goal, reflecting strong local support despite some objections over the statue’s size and location during the consultation phase. Rutland County Council received 41 objections and 33 letters of support, but ultimately, the planners approved the memorial, deeming the concerns insufficient to reject the proposal.

This new statue not only serves as a lasting memorial to Queen Elizabeth II but also as a focal point for community pride and a testament to her enduring legacy.

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