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Monday, November 29, 2021

New statues of the Queen and Prince Philip to adorn Royal Albert Hall

The Queen and Prince Philip will be depicted as they appeared in the mid-1960s, with Prince Philip wearing white tie attire and the Queen in a full-length gown with gloves. Both sport the sash of the Order of the Garter.

The only other prominent public statue honouring the Duke of Edinburgh is a sculpture installed alongside that of the Queen by the West Door of Canterbury Cathedral in 2015.

The planned sculpture at the Royal Albert Hall comes after public calls for the Duke to be suitably commemorated following his death in April at the age of  99. Thousands of people had signed a petition for a “prominent statue of the Duke in London”.

Mixed views on new statues

The designs of the sculptures, currently only seen in their model stage, have split opinion.

Hugo Vickers, a writer and Royal expert, said: “I think these are very fine indeed. They remind me of the little figures on the tomb of the Duke of Clarence in the Albert Memorial Chapel in Windsor Castle.”

But Alastair Sooke, the art critic, said: “Royal portraiture tends to fall into two camps – the routine and dull and the distorted and controversial. The maquettes for four new life-size sculptures to be unveiled at the Royal Albert Hall next summer appear to belong to the former.

“While it is unfair to judge artworks solely on photographs, and while it would be wrong to write off an as yet unrealised finished result on the basis only of maquettes, these models strike me as pretty pedestrian fare.”

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