York Minster to get statue of The Queen after councillors give plans the green light

Plans for a statue of The Queen to be installed at York Minster have been approved by the council, which says the sculpture will “enhance” the cathedral.

But City of York Council has asked to see the final design of the statue, once it has been selected by The Queen.

York Minster applied for planning permission to install the sculpture in an empty niche, or recess, at the west front of the Minster to mark the Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

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The statue was described in the proposals as a “symbol of hope” in the aftermath of the pandemic.

York Minster is to get a statue of The Queen

Details of the sculpture are a closely guarded secret and the Queen will choose the final design, which will be carved by York Minster’s stonemasons.

The council has asked to see design before the statue is installed, with a planning notice saying: “Given the subject matter of the statue it is unlikely that the final design would be a radical interpretation.

“However the fact remains that at the time of determining this application the final design and appearance is not known. A condition requiring final details to be submitted at a later date, once they are known by the applicant, is considered to provide an appropriate degree of comfort.”

They say the plans will not harm the landmark, adding: “The proposals will facilitate some repair work to the existing West front of the Minster whilst also being an addition to the overall history and story of York Minster and its purpose.

“The west front already contains figures of saints, powerful figures in the church and secular figures. The proposals to include a sculpture of the sovereign would continue this theme, as they are at the head of the Church of England. In this context it could be argued that the proposals would enhance the reading and understanding of the Minster.”

The sculpture will overlook a new public square, proposed for Duncombe Place, to be called the Queen Elizabeth Square.

The statue also needs approval under the Care of Cathedrals Measure Act, monument consent and approval from the Queen.

A York Minster report on plans for the statue and square says they are part of a project that will “signal the recovery and resurgence of the city from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic and as a symbol of hope”.

A statement says: “Chapter wish to adorn the Minster and to honour Her Majesty. Buckingham Palace has given assent in principle to the ambitions of a public realm enhancement project, which would transform the west front of the Minster and the sense of civic place in the environs.

“The proposed statue is an emblematic part of this exciting vision […] and will be part of the public campaign to signal the recovery and resurgence of the city from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic and as a symbol of hope.”