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First memorial to Queen Elizabeth II unveiled in Rutland

The first public memorial statue in England of HM Queen Elizabeth II was unveiled in Oakham on what would have been her 98th birthday.

Over a thousand people attended the official unveiling of the 7ft (2.1m) bronze monument outside a library in Oakham.

Some traveled hours for the occasion, which happened on Sunday, April 21 – her late Majesty’s birthday.

Leicester Time: First memorial to Queen Elizabeth II unveiled in Rutland
Picture: MP Alicia Kearns

The veil was removed by the Monarch’s Representative in the county of Rutland, Lord-Lieutenant Dr Sarah Furness; the local head of the Monarch’s Church, The Rt Rev Debbie Sellin and the local representative of the Monarch’s Government, MP Alicia Kearns.

The statue shows Her Late Majesty in mid-life, in full regal dress. But in a deliberate attempt to emphasise her warmth and humanity the statue incorporates three corgis, her favourite dogs.

This prompted a simultaneous meeting of the UK Corgi Club; about 40 corgis attended and were (mostly) very well behaved. Many ‘selfies’ were taken with the bronze corgis at the foot of the statue.

Leicester Time: First memorial to Queen Elizabeth II unveiled in Rutland
Picture: The Lord Lieutenant of Rutland

The majestic monument, which was largely funded by donations from businesses and members of the public, cost £125,000 and was commissioned by the Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland.

“Her late Majesty served us steadfastly for 70 years and her death felt like a personal bereavement to many,” she said.

“Her late Majesty’s memory lives on in our hearts and in the very fabric of our society,” added MP Alicia Kearns. “Now this statue in Rutland will stand as a symbol of her enduring presence and legacy.”

It is positioned on a grassy area near the junction of Catmos Street and Stamford Road, is said to be England’s first permanent memorial to the late Queen.

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.