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By Royal Appointment (sort of...)

I'd been privileged to photograph the making of a statue of Queen Elizabeth II ahead of her platinum jubilee. The statue, designed by stonemason Richard Bossons, was years in the planning, and designs, sketches and models went back and forth between York Minster and Buckingham Palace for approval and amendment.

Richard Bossons working on a maquette of the statue of the Queen

Taking measurements from a clay model

Richard's final design was initially roughly carved in Wales before the stone was transported to York.

One very early morning, I documented the stone being lifted into place into a specially prepared workshop at the West face of the Minster. Here, Richard would complete the final carving.

Once this was done, I documented the finished statue being lifted into position. This was quite a feat requiring a specialist crane team, and some clever engineering from the Stoneyard team to slowly inch the statue into its final position.

The statue is carefully lifted from the temporary workshop below, to its place on the West front of the Minster.

The statue was due to be unveiled by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, but this was then postponed when the Queen passed away in September 2002.

It's perhaps fitting that the unveiling was rescheduled so that the new King, Charles III, and Queen Consort Camilla, could visit and unveil the statue.

Crowds lined the streets and I was appointed to photograph the King's arrival, and his visit to the Minster, meeting staff, signing the visitor's book and eventually, in the pouring rain, unveiling the statue of his late mother.

The King arrives and is greeted by the Archbishop

Posing with posies

Looking at an exhibition about the statue inside the Minster

Signing the visitors book which has been signed by Kings and Queens before him

Meeting stonemason Richard

Meeting the Dean of the Minster Dominic Barrington

Chatting with choristers

King Charles III

Amid the rain, the statue is unveiled

Chatting with choristers

The finished statue.

Photographing an event like this took extensive planning and preparation, and the ability to work on the fly, changing according to what was happening. One minute I was photographing inside the Minster, which is relatively dark but dry, the next I'm outside in the pouring rain, constantly scanning what is happening to ensure i got the shots.

The King and Queen Consort aren't the only Royals I've photographed however - I've been commissioned to photograph Prince Andrew on several occasions (hmm, the less said the better), and have also photographed the Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

You don't have to be royalty to be photographed by me though, so whatever you need, get in touch.

All images © Duncan Lomax, Ravage Productions


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