National monument to the Queen Mother unveiled by the Queen

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The Queen has unveiled a £2 million statue of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother just a few feet from the imposing sculpture of George VI.

The Prince of Wales, in a moving speech in the presence of all senior members of the Royal Family described the 9ft 6in sculpture in The Mall as a fitting tribute to his "darling" grandmother.

The unveiling by the Queen of the 9ft 6in bronze statue was a poignant reminder of the simple ceremony she performed in tribute to her father in 1955 only three years after his death at the age of 56.

Philip Jackson, the sculptor whose design was chosen by a committee chaired by the Prince of Wales, depicted the Queen Mother at 51 the same age she was when George VI died. He spent hours poring over photographs in the archive at Windsor Castle and met her shortly before her death.

The statue is flanked by two bronze reliefs which show her in the Second World War, when the Royal Family defied Foreign Office advice to remain in London. The centrepiece depicts her holding her hand out to a child as she and the king meet families made homeless by bombing raids.

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