11 November 2023

King unveils statues of late Queen and Prince Philip at Royal Albert Hall

11 November 2023

The King and Queen have unveiled statues of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip ahead of the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance.

The life-sized bronze artworks, commemorating the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s dedication to the Royal Albert Hall, were erected as part of the building’s 150th anniversary.

Charles and Camilla arrived at the historic concert hall in London where they unveiled the statues ahead of the annual remembrance ceremony on Saturday evening.

Artworks of Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, were also unveiled at the Royal Albert Hall this week.

The statues, created by artist Poppy Field, “complete” the building by filling the niches of its north porch, which have been empty since 1871, and its south porch, added in 2003.

The commissioning of the sculptures was awarded following a competition involving a shortlist of seven sculptors supported by the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), a charity supporting excellence in British craftsmanship.

Ian McCulloch, president of the Royal Albert Hall, said: “It is particularly fitting for our distinctive building to mark the contribution to our history of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who supported and attended the hall devotedly for so many decades.”

Other royals attending the remembrance ceremony on Saturday evening include the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent.

The event will commemorate the service and sacrifice of servicemen and women and mark 80 years since The Battle of the Atlantic and the 70th anniversary of the Korean War.

In tribute to the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush’s arrival, this year’s festival will also honour the contribution of the Windrush generation to the military.

On Sunday, Charles will lead the nation in remembrance at the Cenotaph following a day of violent clashes across central London between counter-protesters and police – who attempted to stop them from interfering with a major pro-Palestine march.

The Met Police said dozens of people had been arrested on Saturday, including 82 in an incident on Tachbrook Street, Pimlico, when a “large group” of counter-protesters tried to reach the march.

Counter-protesters had earlier clashed with police near the Cenotaph, ahead of a service to mark Armistice Day.

Scuffles broke out as police attempted to stop a crowd of people carrying St George’s flags marching along Embankment towards Whitehall, where the Cenotaph is located, shortly after 10am.

The group, which had been chanting “England ’til I die” pushed through the police barrier, with some shouting “let’s have them” as officers hit out with batons.

Further clashes with police took place in Chinatown with counter-protesters chanting: “You’re not English any more” towards officers.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox