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Statue of the Queen unveiled at Gravesend

PUBLISHED: 15:55 26 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 26 July 2018

The statue was unveiled at St Andrew's Gardens. Picture: Gravesham Borough Council

The statue was unveiled at St Andrew's Gardens. Picture: Gravesham Borough Council

Archant

Britain's longest-reigning monarch was celebrated at Gravesend this morning when a statue of the Queen was unveiled in St Andrew's Gardens.

The statue was sculpted by Douglas Jennings and was jointly unveiled by the Rt Rev James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester and Bishop of H.M. Prisons and Cllr David Turner, honorary freeman of the borough and leader of the council.

Cllr Turner said: “The event was superb.

“Very important people turned up to support us and we are very happy with the outcome.

“A lot of hard work was put into it by people and of course Douglas Jennings has done an incredible job.”

He added that the statue has been situated in an ideal place for everyone to see and enjoy.

Originally commissioned in 2016 to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, the statue celebrates the Queen’s status of longest reigning British monarch, which she achieved in September 2015.

In February 2017 the Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, commemorating 65 years on the throne.

Bishop James Landstaff said the unveiling of the statue was significant for the community.

“The unveiling went really well, it’s so important for the community to have sculptures and art,” he said.

“It says something not just about the Queen as a monarch but the life of our nation that she embodies.

“She is 92 years old and at an age where most would be slowing down in a retirement home she is still serving as our longest reigning monarch.

“Gravesend has also, for many years, celebrated people from other countries – she is here as queen of the commonwealth as well.”

Sculptor Douglas Jennings said the statue had taken him, in total, around a year and a half to complete.

“It took a lot of thinking and research when I was deciding what I would have to put into this because of all the adornments and robes she has.

“Portraits are always a challenge. Luckily, the Queen is probably the most photographed woman in the world.

“It became like putting together a jigsaw.”

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