King Charles III has unveiled the first statue of his late mother Queen Elizabeth II since her death in September.
The new sculpture in the English city of York was revealed on Wednesday outside York Minster, the largest gothic cathedral in Britain, and pays tribute to the late monarch’s life of service and dedication.
The King unveiled the statue at a rainy ceremony on Wednesday in front of York Minster cathedral in York, England. Credit: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP/Getty Images
“When this statue was first planned five years ago, during a reign of unprecedented duration and achievement, it was intended as a celebration of the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee,” the King said in a speech at a rainy unveiling ceremony while holding a black umbrella.
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“Now, as we have witnessed, with great sadness, the passing of that reign, it is unveiled in her memory, as a tribute to a life of extraordinary service and devotion,” he continued.
“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,” he added, before pulling down the purple cloth covering the towering statue, which overlooks York’s new public square from above one of the cathedral’s entrances.
The statue overlooks a new public square that will become Queen Elizabeth Square. Credit: Danny Lawson/AFP/Getty Images
Ahead of the unveiling, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell described the “unique occasion” as an “immensely poignant moment” honoring “the long life and service of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth to her people, her nation and the Commonwealth.”
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The Queen died aged 96 on September 8, just months after celebrating an unprecedented seven decades on the throne.
Her commemorative statue, which was designed and carved by York Minster stonemason Richard Bossons, stands at just over six and a half feet tall and weighs around 4,000 pounds.
The King was presented with a model of the sculpture, which was designed and carved by York Minster stonemason Richard Bossons. Credit: Danny Lawson/AFP/Getty Images
The French limestone sculpture shows the late Queen in Garter robes, crowned with the George IV State Diadem, and holding the orb and scepter — symbols of her role as head of church and state.
“She will stand proud and resolute in her niche, welcoming worshippers and visitors alike,” said Bossons in a statement.
Earlier Wednesday, a 23-year-old man was arrested “on a suspicion of a public order offence” after eggs were thrown at the King and Queen Consort during their visit to York, according to North Yorkshire police.
Police detained a protester after he appeared to throw eggs at the British monarch and Queen Consort. Credit: Jacob King/PA Images/Getty Images
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None of the eggs hit the royals, who carried on with their engagement, meeting members of the local community.
The man has been interviewed and released on police bail, the force said in an update on Thursday.
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CNN’s Max Foster, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Eve Brennan and Chris Liakos contributed to this report.