Britain Memorializes a Queen, With Smiles and Bronze Corgis

It looked like a corgi convention.

On Sunday afternoon in Oakham, a quaint English market town, hundreds of local residents stood behind a temporary barrier and craned their necks to see the 50 or so dogs waddling past in the local library’s gardens.

The yapping mutts were just a sideshow, however, to the main event, which was announced from a dais by Sarah Furness, a local dignitary: the unveiling of Britain’s first memorial statue to Queen Elizabeth II.

The seven-foot bronze work, by the London-based sculptor Hywel Pratley, shows the queen in flowing robes, with three corgis at her feet. “What most of us remember about Queen Elizabeth is her warmth,” Furness said in a speech. “By showing Queen Elizabeth’s love of dogs, we show her humanity,” she added.

Fans of the queen, both human and canine, gathered around her statue in Oakham.Credit…Joshua Bright for The New York Times

Eighteen months after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Britain is beginning to memorialize the former monarch, with municipalities and institutions across the country unveiling statues in her honor.

Sculptors began working on some of these long before the queen’s death, including one at York Minister in the north of England, unveiled in 2022, that presents her in full regalia. Another, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, shows a younger, glamorous monarch on a night out at that concert hall, wearing a fashionable dress and tiara.

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