"The late Queen was always vigilant for the welfare of her people during her life," the King said.
King Charles unveiled a new sculpture to honor his 'beloved mother'. The statue was built to celebrate the late Queen's platinum jubilee. It was completed in August, a month before her death, as reported by Metro. Made from Lepine limestone from France, the statue is two meters tall, weighs 1.1 tonnes, and stands at the entrance to York's cathedral in the square that will be named in her honor. This is the first statue of the late Queen since her death on September 8.
The first statue of Queen Elizabeth II to be unveiled after her death is now in place at York Minister. The statue, by Richard Bossons, was unveiled by King Charles III on his visit to the city. The King said it was 'a tribute to a life of extraordinary service and devotion.' pic.twitter.com/3WGlLVrm2N— Coronation News & Updates (@Coronation2023) November 9, 2022
King Charles unveiled the statue in front of hundreds of people outside the 850-year-old holy building. Speaking at the ceremony, King Charles 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."
Richard Bossons, 52, the stonemason who sculpted the artwork said that this was his first portrait piece. He has worked at the minster for the last 11 years. He won a competition to build the statue of Queen Elizabeth II. He hopes that everybody likes the statue. According to him, it is the "best he could pull out" of himself. "Hopefully I have done justice to the Queen and the King likes it and I have done justice to the front of the building," he added.
During the sculpting, Bossons did have some "nerve-wracking moments" while cutting a 3-tonne piece of Lepine limestone by machines to his design and another when he put in six months of work with his chisel to refine the stone. "I am hugely relieved and it will be nice now to go back to my bread-and-butter work," said Bossons.
The idea behind the design was to show a sense of potential movement, with the Queen looking down the main approach to the minster and her left hand pulling in her robe to brace against the winds from the west front. It also portrays the Queen wearing Garter robes and the George IV State Diadem, and holding the orb and scepter symbols of authority.
Before the ceremony, King Charles and the Queen Consort, Camilla, joined the Archbishop of York and other dignitaries for a service at the minster and attended an exhibition that explained the process of how the statue was made. The King was presented with a maquette of the statue after a service inside the cathedral, according to BBC.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | WPA Pool