London's first statue of Queen Elizabeth II has been unveiled, outside the Royal Albert Hall.
In a relatively low key event on 11 November 2023, King Charles III and Queen Camilla revealed the two-metre-tall bronze figure of the late monarch in one of the niches of the Albert Hall's South Porch. The other previously unused niche here is filled with a likeness of her husband, Philip.
Though Elizabeth II enjoys a slew of London dedications — including parks, train lines, towers and airport terminals — until now, there's been no public statue of her in London (though there are others in places including Windsor and York).
The statues were crafted by Poppy Field — a fitting name, given that these were unveiled ahead of the Royal Albert Hall Festival of Remembrance. They now in a sense 'complete' the venue; while Field's works fill the niches of the South Porch, those of the North Porch (unoccupied since the hall was built in 1871), were recently added with sculptures of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, crafted by London Stone Carving.
After Elizabeth died in 2022, City Hall politicians agreed that a statue of her should be erected in a 'prominent position', with Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth in the running. Pulling in some 1.5 million visitors a year, the Royal Albert Hall commands a decent footfall, although nowhere near Trafalgar Square's four million. That said, this particular commission came in 2020 — two years before the Queen died — and we may well see more statues of the late monarch springing up around the capital.