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Bishop of Peterborough blesses statue to the late Queen Elizabeth II

It was unveiled in Rutland’s county town of Oakham

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Into her second month as Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Debbie Sellin visited Rutland, yesterday – part of her diocese – to bless a permanent statue of the late Queen Elizabeth II, the first to be commissioned since her death.

Archie poses with the Queen Bronze Corgis. Town centre, Oakham Sunday 21 April 2024. Picture by Terry Harris.

It was unveiled in Rutland’s county town of Oakham as a lasting tribute to England’s longest reigning monarch. It was commissioned by the Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Sarah Furness.

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On what would have been the late Queen’s 98th birthday, the organisers felt it was an opportunity for the children and people of Rutland and the wider country to celebrate this tribute.

Late Queen Elizabeth II statue unveiled in Rutland. Town centre, Oakham Sunday 21 April 2024. Picture by Terry Harris.

Members of the Welsh Corgi League also attended in celebration of the late Queen’s life-long love of animals and her special relationship with Corgis.

Dr Furness found strong local support and although local businesses donated most of the £125,000 came from ordinary individuals.

Her ambitious aim to have the statue unveiled just 18 months after the late Queen’s death, makes this the first statue of HM Queen Elizabeth II to be erected which was commissioned after her death.

Late Queen Elizabeth II statue unveiled in Rutland. Town centre, Oakham Sunday 21 April 2024. Picture by Terry Harris.

The statue was unveiled by Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland & Melton before being blessed by Bishop of Peterborough, Debbie Sellins. It is free to access and provides a central meeting place for residents and visitors to connect.

The statue was created by well-respected sculptor Hywel Pratley who has connections to the local area. He is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors, whose work in bronze is widely exhibited and is reasonably priced.

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The statue enhances the area around the library and incorporates a fun element with a Corgi peeking out from the Queen’s robes and another two at ground level in front of the plinth, to encourage engagement and a point of interest for social media posts.

Late Queen Elizabeth II statue unveiled in Rutland. Town centre, Oakham Sunday 21 April 2024. Picture by Terry Harris.

The statue was made using local materials and businesses where possible to minimise environmental impact and costs.

Late Queen Elizabeth II statue unveiled in Rutland. Town centre, Oakham Sunday 21 April 2024. Picture by Terry Harris.

Mounted on local Ancaster limestone, the bronze statue was cast at the local Le Blanc foundry in Melton Mowbray and installed with the help of local construction company Smithers Purslow.

Late Queen Elizabeth II statue unveiled in Rutland. Town centre, Oakham Sunday 21 April 2024. Picture by Terry Harris.

The Tech Spec: 800 kilos of clay were used over a steel and aluminum armature filled with polystyrene and expanding foam. The mould required about 120 kg of silicone rubber. 587 kg of bronze was melted at 1140 degrees centigrade to cast the statue.

FACT FILE

The Diocese of Peterborough, founded in 1541, has 348 parishes and 379 churches covering Northamptonshire, the northern part of Peterborough and the county of Rutland. Peterborough Cathedral is our mother church. With around 200 clergy and a similar number of lay ministers, the diocese serves a population of just under a million people.

 

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