Queen grants permission for statue to head the royal birthday celebrations…

    ‘It is a fantastic idea and would be a great privilege for the town’

    Horse Statue

    A larger than life replica of one of The Queen’s most favoured horses is planned as the centrepiece of celebrations in Tunbridge Wells to mark Her Majesty’s 90th birthday.

    Standing at 19 hands tall (6ft 3ins), the bronze resin statue of the Ascot Gold Cup winner Estimate was commissioned personally by her Majesty for charity.

    It has never been seen in public before. However, plans are being drawn up for it to go on display at the Tunbridge Wells International Art Fair next month (June 24-26).

    Behind the idea is SEEART Gallery owner Susan Beumee who from June will be representing the world-renowned sculptor Tessa Campbell Fraser, who created both the original and replica of the horse.

    Mrs Campbell Fraser – whose original solid bronze statue of Estimate is currently in the grounds of Sandringham Estate – will see her work become a regular feature of The Pantiles-based gallery.

    This connection is what allowed Ms Beumee to seek permission personally from The Queen to display the replica in Tunbridge Wells, permission which has since been granted.

    She said: “We are very privileged to be given this opportunity to commemorate The Queen’s official birthday next month.

    “It will be a huge accolade for the town and will reinforce our royal connections. People will come from all over to see it as it has never been on public view before.”

    The plan is for the statue to go on display in the Assembly Hall during the Tunbridge Wells International Art Fair, with the private viewing on June 23 being attended by Mrs Campbell Fraser herself.

    Following the SeeArt fair, the statue will be transported to Newmarket where it will used to raise money for charity.

    However, in order for the statue to come to Tunbridge Wells, around £2,500 must be found through either sponsorship or donations to pay for its transportation costs.

    Cllr David Elliott, who resigns his Mayoralty this morning, welcomed the plan.

    He said: “I think it is a fantastic idea and would be a great privilege for the town so I do hope there is a sponsor willing to pay for the transport.”