Royal statues commissioned for Norwich Cathedral
Norwich Cathedral has announced plans for newly commissioned statues of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip, in celebration of the forthcoming 65th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.
York-based sculptor, Charles Gurrey, has been chosen to carve the figures depicting the Queen and her Consort in Garter robes, to be positioned in the Cathedral Cloisters. Gurrey has previously completed work at other notable cathedrals in the UK, including a portable font in York Minster and a programme of architectural sculptures over the west doors at Guildford.
The new statues will be positioned in two vacant spaces in the Cloisters, just above the stone troughs where monks once washed their hands before and after meals. Flanking these empty spaces are statues of King George V and Queen Mary and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, carved in the late 1930s by Gilbert Ledward RA, a well-respected sculptor in his day, known for his war memorials in many London public spaces.
The Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham James, said:
“The fondness for Norfolk shared by both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh is well known. I believe that many people in the county will be delighted with the proposal to fill two empty niches in the Cloisters with statues of the Queen and Prince Philip. These will be an elegant reminder of our permanent gratitude for their service to nation and Commonwealth.”
The Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral will be fundraising toward the cost of the new statues and are welcoming donations from anyone wishing to show their support in this way.
The Lord Lieutenant, Richard Jewson, commented:
“The announcement that Prince Philip is now 'winding down' his duties as he approaches his 96th birthday reminds us all of the long lifetime of service that he and the Queen have given the nation. Norfolk people, too, feel a strong connection through the royal couple’s love of Sandringham. I am sure that many of us will be pleased to have this opportunity to contribute to the cost of the two figures which will bear witness to our high regard and gratitude.”
Those wishing to contribute to the cost of this project are advised to send a cheque payable to Norwich Cathedral (marked Cloisters on the reverse) to The Chapter Steward, The Chapter Office, 65 The Close, Norwich, NR1 4DH. Any funds left over after the costs have been met will be applied to the ongoing conservation of the Cloisters.
Pictured: sketches of the proposed statues