A new permanent sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II has been unveiled at the Royal Albert Hall by His Majesty The King. Her Majesty The Queen also unveiled a sculpture of The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The two-metre bronze figures are two of four sculptures added to the historic London venue this week, with the others depicting Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The artworks effectively ‘complete’ the building by filling the empty niches of its North Porch – which have been empty since 1871 – and its South Porch, added in 2003.
Their Majesties unveiled the sculptures, created by artist Poppy Field, as part of a visit to the Hall for this year’s Festival of Remembrance.
Ian McCulloch, President of the Royal Albert Hall, said: “It is particularly fitting for our distinctive building to mark the contribution to our history of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who supported and attended the Hall devotedly for so many decades, and to celebrate the legacy of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who were fundamental in its founding.”
The venue was conceived by Prince Albert and opened by Queen Victoria, who named it in memory of her late husband. Queen Elizabeth II was its patron, first visiting the Hall an eight-year-old girl in 1934 and making the last of her 130 visits in November 2019. You can find out more in our article on the history of the Royal Albert Hall.
As part of its 150th anniversary celebrations in 2021, the Hall commissioned sculptors supported by the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), a charity dedicated to promoting excellence in British craftsmanship.
The Portland stone sculptures of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, created by Tom Brown, Tom Nicholls, Josh Locksmith and Sam Lee of London Stone Carving, were unveiled in the North Porch earlier this week.
Mr McCulloch added: “With this unveiling today, we formally bring to a close our 150th anniversary with a tangible addition to the façade of our glorious Grade I listed building, honouring our Royal connections and leaving a legacy of public art of a high quality and craftsmanship.”