Bishop reveals new statue of the Queen

Bishop James helps reveal new statue of the Queen

Marking the 65th anniversary of the Queen’s reign –  now our country’s longest reigning monarch – Bishop James Langstaff joined Honorary Freeman of the Borough and Leader of Gravesham Council, Cllr David Turner, in unveiling a new statue of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in St Andrew’s Gardens, Gravesend, on Thursday 26th July.

With music performed by Gravesend Borough Band – seated in the all too elusive shade – the atmosphere was one of celebration as guests gathered, anticipating the start of the formalities.

The Mayor of Gravesham, Cllr David Hurley, said that the statue was a lasting memorial for the town and borough, which was commissioned to mark Her Majesty’s Sapphire Jubilee. 

The statue of Her Majesty has been sculpted by Douglas Jennings MRBS and everyone present heard of the meticulous research and care that had been taken to ensure that every detail of the statue – one and a half times life size – was correct.  Mr Jennings also sculpted the nearby statue of Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujii for which he received the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture.

The Mayor offered the borough’s gratitude to the businesses, organisations and individuals whose support had helped make the vision a reality, commemorating such a significant milestone.  He remembered, too, all those who had worked tirelessly behind the scenes.

Bishop James spoke of the immense personal contribution that the Queen has made over the decades of her reign to the life of the nation, remembering times he had noticed when she readily helped people to feel at ease in her presence.  He remarked, too, on just how much the influence of the Queen and the Crown continues to be seen in many of our national and local institutions.

With the day getting ever warmer, it was time for Bishop James and Cllr Turner to unveil the new statue.  Fortunately, this happened without incident, and enthusiastic applause greeted the first glimpse of this addition to St Andrew’s Gardens, with the River Thames as a backdrop.  After the National Anthem, everyone had the opportunity to view the newly revealed statue to the accompaniment of Handel’s March of Scipio.

You can see more pictures on the Gravesham Borough Council Flickr gallery here.

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