Rutland’s memorial to Queen Elizabeth II – a first!

Rutland’s bronze memorial to the late Queen Elizabeth II, her first memorial statue to be erected in the UK, was unveiled in Oakham on Sunday 21st April 2024 – on what would have been Her Late Majesty’s 98th birthday.

From left to right: Judge Richard Hedley; Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Peterborough; Sarah Furness, Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland; Alicia Kearns, MP for Melton and Rutland and Hywel Pratley, the sculptor.

The veil was removed jointly by the Monarch’s Representative in the county of Rutland, Lord-Lieutenant Dr Sarah Furness; the local head of the Monarch’s Church, The Rt Rev Debbie Sellin and the local representative of the Monarch’s Government, MP Alicia Kearns.

The statue shows Her Late Majesty in mid-life, her profile familiar to all in the UK from our coins, stamps and banknotes, in full regal dress. But in a deliberate attempt to emphasise her warmth and humanity the statue incorporates three corgis, her favourite dogs.

This prompted a simultaneous meeting of the UK Corgi Club; about 40 corgis attended and were (mostly) very well behaved. Many ‘selfies’ were taken with the bronze corgis at the foot of the statue.

The statue was funded almost entirely by donations from numerous members of the public, mainly in Rutland, which were generously given once the Lord-Lieutenant announced her plan to raise funds for such a memorial after the State Funeral. Major donors (excluding those who declined the publicity) are named around the base of the plinth. The only ‘taxpayer’s money’ involved was an unsolicited (but gratefully received) donation from Oakham Town Council, as the statue will be a permanent attraction in Oakham. Rutland County Council allowed the statue to be erected on its land, but did not give any financial support.

It was sculpted by Hywel Pratley and cast in bronze by the LeBlanc foundry at Saxby, near Melton.

Over a thousand people attended the unveiling, with celebrations spilling over into nearby Oakham Market Square and Oakham Castle.

The event was reported widely with in the UK and beyond, with a lengthy article appearing in the New York Times. We have heard that it was even mentioned by the Russian news agency, TASS!

Media note:

We would be delighted to work with you to tell the story of this memorial to the late Queen from its commissioning by Dr Sarah Furness, Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, to its design, creation and installation, and finally its unveiling on April 21st 2024.

We believe this story will be of international interest.

If you would like to discuss how we might work together, and to receive a press release along with other media assets, please contact Dr Sandra McCune at  Tel: 07554-740370(m).

The King’s diagnosis of cancer

Like so many people I am deeply shocked at His Majesty’s diagnosis of cancer. It seems such a shame following the brilliant start he has made as our monarch. Hopefully he will be back carrying out public facing duties soon. I hope that the cancer is, like many cancers, treatable.

I admire His Majesty’s openness in not only sharing his need to have prostate treatment but also in telling us all of this cancer diagnosis. I know that many more men are seeking information and help with prostate problems as a result of His Majesty’s openness. I hope that by sharing His cancer diagnosis King Charles will likewise raise awareness and encourage people to have check ups and that more cancers will be caught early as a result. As we know early diagnosis is often the key to a good prognosis, as we hope it is in the case of his Majesty.

My thoughts are with King Charles, Her Majesty, Queen Camilla and the entire Royal Family.

The Coronation

What an event. What a weekend! It deserves more than one Blog item, so I have created a whole web page on it. Here’s the link.

I was delighted to be invited to address the congregation at Oakham’s Coronation Service at All Saints’ Church on the following day. I have had several requests for the text of what I said, so here it is.

“Clear Out to Help Out” event delayed

Sadly the Rutland ‘Clear Out to Help Out’ charity car boot sale, planned for today 8th May 2023, has had to be delayed because rain has left Rutland Showground too wet; I have been told that taking the necessary vehicles across the grass would have turned it into a quagmire, not only resulting in a disaster on the day but also making the showground unusable for future events for some time to come.

This is very disappointing, not least because I have large pile of items donated to charity sitting in my garage.

The plan is to hole it on the next Bank Holiday in three weeks’ time, on Monday May 29th.

Weather permitting.

An MBE for Barbara Crellin

Feb 28th: I am delighted that Rutland’s Barbara Crellin has been awarded an MBE today by HRH The Princess Royal. Richly deserved! Barbara has done much for swimming, rugby, sport, education and well-being in Rutland.

Uppingham Rotary combats Polio!

February 17th:

Polio is still a debilitating illness in parts of the world. Uppingham Rotary⁩ held a fundraising static bike ride ⁦at The Falcon Hotel⁩ and raised over £1,000. Well done to all who took part!

QGC continues to grow…

Feb 6th: The ⁦ Queen’s Green Canopy⁩ is growing & there is time to add to #Rutland’s total before March.

I was delighted to join volunteers in Greetham to celebrate the planting of some stunning cherry trees. I look forward to seeing them in flower & the autumn colour. ⁦

Peterborough service for Katherine of Aragon

Jan 28th –

Today Katherine of Aragon was commemorated with a service at Peterborough Cathedral, where she is buried. A great woman – the first female ambassador, married to Henry VIII for 20 years. Before he divorced her.

Christmas fair at Cutts Close

December 4th: Three weeks until Christmas! Thanks to ⁦Oakham Town⁩ for a festive fair at Cutts Close today. Street food, stalls, The Grainy, spinning tea cups and more. A great Santa Fun Run was organised by Rutland Rotary.