Queen Elizabeth II statue coming to Newcastle – a sneak peek

Work on an £85,000 statue of Queen Elizabeth II has begun – after two companies agreed to fully fund the project. Newcastle Borough Council announced last year that it was commissioning the bronze statue for the Queens Gardens as part of Newcastle’s 850th anniversary.

Digger giant JCB and developer Capital & Centric have now agreed to fund the statue, which will be created by internationally-famous Staffordshire artist Andy Edwards. The council had previously planned to fund the statue through the sale of 11 macquettes – smaller versions of the statue – but this will no longer be necessary.

Andy, who is known for world-famous artworks such as the Beatles statue in Liverpool, has now started work on the Queen Elizabeth statue, which is based on photographs of her visit to Newcastle in 1973. It is expected to be completed by September, after which it will be placed in Queens Gardens facing the statue of Queen Elizabeth’s great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

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A launch event took place at Castle House today during the week of what would have been the late Queen’s 98th birthday.

There, Andy Edwards worked on refining a terracotta wax model of Queen Elizabeth’s head and displayed some of his other intricate work on the statue so far, including the late Queen’s famous Cambridge brooch.

Andy said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been awarded this commission by Newcastle Borough Council. It is a huge responsibility but one I relish and undertake dutifully. Though the design is informal in its presentation, the work requires exacting standards in both the expected detail and as a sensitive portrait of Her late Majesty. I use traditional time-honoured techniques in making an enlargement from a scale model and our local clay to sculpt, but also the latest digital technologies in my calculations, engineering and gleaning authenticity from archive footage and photographs.

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