Statue honouring the Queen set to be unveiled in community gardens
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 July 2018
History will be made today with the unveiling of Gravesham Borough Council's statue of the Queen to celebrate the longest reigning monarch.
The statue, sculpted by Douglas Jennings, will be jointly unveiled by the Rev James Langstaff, bishop of Rochester and H.M. Prisons and Cllr David Turner, honorary freeman of the borough and leader of the council, at 10am in St Andrew’s Gardens.
The statue portrays the Sovereign in her Order of the Garter robes and is thought to be the only seated sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II in existence.
The statue, made of bronze, will be visible to pedestrians, passing motorists and from the river.
The statue cost £225K and has been entirely funded by local businesses and individuals including Edinburgh House, Esquire Development Ltd, G&M Motors, Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, Hatten Wyatt, Istead Rise Community Association, Kimberly–Clark, LEJ Properties, Port of London Authority, and Reef Estates Ltd as well as other individuals and businesses who have requested anonymity.
Council leader cllr David Turner said: “In 1897 Queen Victoria statues were produced to mark Victoria’s diamond jubilee and the new statue is a grand tribute to mark Elizabeth’s long reign.
“My deep gratitude goes out to all who contributed to the cost, to the officers who managed the project and, of course to Douglas Jennings who has delivered for us another world class piece.”
Douglas Jennings received the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture in 2015 for the statue of squadron leader Mahinder Singh Pujii, which is also in St Andrew’s Gardens, on the river front.
He has developed detailed figurative monuments for public figures in the world of sport, public service and politics and is well known for his highly skilled, lifelike sculptures and drapery.
He said: “Gravesham Borough Council approached me about designing a commemorative statue of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II following the success of the memorial statue I created of squadron leader Mahinder Singh Pujii.”
He added: “As head of the commonwealth it is fitting the Queen’s statue is placed by squadron leader Pujii who represents all those from the Commonwealth who served alongside Britain in all conflicts.”