It’s been over a year since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and London’s first statue honouring the longest-reigning Monarch in the nation’s history.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla attended the small ceremony on November 11, where the statue was unveiled at the Royal Albert Hall’s North Porch, inside one of the empty niches. Beside her also now stands a statue of her husband, Phillip, who passed away at the age of 99 in April 2021.
Both bronze statues are life-sized and were the creation of London-based artist Poppy Field, and sit in the facade of the south porch of the building. In contrast, the niches in the North Porch houses statues of the next longest-reigning Monarch, Queen Victoria, and her husband Prince Albert, which were created by London Stone Carving.
This marks the very first statue of the late Monarch in the capital, although other locations, including York, do hold statues of the Queen.
The unveiling took place as part of the concert hall’s 150th anniversary, with the statues commissioned in 2020. After the unveiling, the King and Queen Consort were joined by nine other members of the Royal Family, including the Prince and Princess of Wales (Prince William and Kate Middleton). Also in attendance were both Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer, who witnessed the event from boxes next to the royal members at the ceremony.
Later on, the venue held the Festival Of Remembrance, which this year paid tribute to those who lost their lives in the Battle Of The Atlantic that led to the death of 65,000 seamen, which took place 80 years ago.
Speaking on the installation of the Queen Elizabeth statue, its creator Poppy Field said: “I am grateful to have been entrusted with this responsibility; sculpting Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip has been an extraordinary privilege and the project of a lifetime.
“Seeing the sculptures come to life as I immersed myself in the project was so exciting: they measure over 2m each and took nearly nine months to complete. They were cast in Bronze by Pangolin Editions in early 2022, and unveiled as part of King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s formal visit to the Hall for this year’s Festival of Remembrance. I was very moved to be at the sculptures’ unveiling on Armistice Day.”