First memorial to Queen Elizabeth II unveiled on monarch's 98th birthday

22 April 2024, 05:33 | Updated: 22 April 2024, 06:54

Statue of Queen Elizabeth II unveiled on monarch's 98th birthday
Statue of Queen Elizabeth II unveiled on monarch's 98th birthday. Picture: Alamy / X

By Danielle De Wolfe

A statue of Queen Elizabeth II has been unveiled in Rutland, in what's thought to be the first permanent memorial to the late monarch.

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Hundreds of members of the public gathered to watch the unveiling of the 7ft bronze monument on Sunday.

The unveiling coincided with what would have been the Queen's 98th birthday, with the striking statue placed outside a library in Oakham in the East Midlands.

Created by Sculptor Hywel Pratley, the statue was commissioned by Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Sarah Furness.

Hundreds of members of the public gathered to watch the unveiling of the 7ft bronze monument on Sunday.
Hundreds of members of the public gathered to watch the unveiling of the 7ft bronze monument on Sunday. Picture: @JohnReadJ

Onlookers of all ages clapped and cheered as the statue was unveiled - a project that was largely funded by donations from the public.

Costing £125,000 to created, the unveiling saw prayers and speeches read as part of the celebratory ceremony.

Taking to X formerly known as Twitter, the High Sheriff of Rutland shared a photo of volunteers and judiciary at the unveiling.

They wrote: "Honoured to attend the unveiling of new statue to the late Queen Elizabeth II today in #oakham #rutland Congratulations to @rutlandll & everyone involved in a successful project. Delighted @leicscadets Ellie was with me on our 1st official engagement together"

Many locals hoped that King Charles III would attended Sunday's unveiling, however, no confirmation was given by the palace of a royal attendance.

The statue was positioned on a grassy area near the junction of Catmos Street and Stamford Road in a bid for the statue to be accessible to the public.

It comes as Prince Harry revealed the date he and Meghan left Frogmore Cottage as the day his US residency formally began to make a ‘point’ to King Charles and his brother.

He is understood to have backdated his new official status as a US resident to the same day he and Meghan were told to leave their UK home.

On a form filed to Companies House, the Duke of Sussex declared the US his new country of residence.

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