A new sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II now stands at the entrance to York Cathedral, facing a square to be named in her honour.
King Charles today unveiled the new artwork commemorating his ‘beloved’ mother.
The statue was commissioned to celebrate the late Queen’s platinum jubilee and was completed in August, a month before her death.
The two meter high sculpture weighs 1.1 tons and is made of Lepine limestone from France.
At today’s ceremony at York Minster, Charles said: “Throughout her life, the late Queen was ever vigilant for the welfare of her people.
“Now her image will stand guard over Queen Elizabeth Square for centuries to come.”
The king unveiled the statue to hundreds of people outside the 850-year-old sacred building. It is the first statue of his mother since her death on September 8th.
The stonemason who created the artwork said it was his first portrait piece.
Richard Bossons, 52, who has worked at the Minster for 11 years, won a competition to create the statue that stands over the west front entrance.
He said: “I hope everyone likes it. That’s the best I could get out of myself. I hope I’ve done justice to the queen and pleases the king and I’ve done justice to the front of the building.’
Mr Bossons, who has previously done caricatures or grotesques for cathedral gargoyles, said there were some nerve-wracking moments during the sculpting, when a three-ton piece of open face limestone was cut by machines to his design and worked with for six months became chisels to refine the stone.
He said: “I am very relieved and it will be nice to be able to get back to my bread and butter work now.”
The design was created to convey a sense of possible movement, with the Queen looking down the main approach to the Minster and her left hand tucking in her robe to brace herself against the winds that frequently strike the western front.
York will also get its first new public square in 200 years with the development of the area in front of the statue, which will be named in honor of the Queen.
Prior to the unveiling of the statue, which rises above street level, Charles said: “The late Queen was always vigilant throughout her life for the welfare of her people.”
He said her “image will stand guard over Queen Elizabeth Square for centuries to come.”
Earlier, Charles and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, along with the Archbishop of York and other dignitaries, had held a service at the Minster and viewed a new exhibition explaining how the statue was made.
They saw a scale model of the final sculpture, as well as a maquette that was used in the design process.
The Queen visited the Minster to distribute Maundy money in 1972 and 2012.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/11/09/king-charles-unveils-first-statue-of-his-beloved-mother-since-she-died-17728603/ King Charles unveils first statue of his 'beloved' mother since her death