A statue of the Queen is set to be installed at York Minster.
The statue would be installed in an empty niche, or recess, at the front of the Minster to mark the Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
Details of the statue are a closely guarded secret – but the Queen will select the final design, which will then be carved by York Minster’s stonemasons.
The statue, first mooted in 2019, will be unveiled to the public at an event to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
Buckingham Palace has given initial approval for the designs for the statue.
A letter from Sir Edward Young, private secretary to the Queen, to the Dean of York Minster, says a design of the statue was shown to the Queen who approved it in principle.
The news comes as Oxford University students reportedly made a decision to remove the Queen’s picture from their common room, because she is a symbol of colonialism.
Members of the Magdalen College Middle Common Room, which is made up of post-graduate students, overwhelmingly voted to remove the portrait, according to reports.
On Tuesday evening, the Education Secretary tweeted: “Oxford University students removing a picture of the Queen is simply absurd.”
The Rt Revd Dr Jonathan Frost, Dean of York Minster, says in a planning application for the statue: “Details of the statue design are also confidential and need to be given only essential and limited circulation so that the city of York can plan a public ‘reveal’ of the statue in 2022 in conjunction with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which are being planned and programmed with [the] Chapter.”
A spokesperson for York Minster said a further announcement about the proposals could be made later this year.
They said: “We are very excited about this project which was originally proposed in the York Minster Masterplan consultation back in 2018 and which is now one of the key elements of the York Minster Neighbourhood Plan, which has now been submitted to City of York Council.
“The planned new statue of Her Majesty the Queen will overlook the proposed new Queen Elizabeth Square a major public realm scheme for Duncombe Place which when completed will be the pre-eminent civic and ceremonial space for the city.
“Planning and preparation are well advanced and we hope to make an announcement about the project in the autumn.”
The Minster’s neighbourhood plan includes proposals for a new public square, to be called the Queen Elizabeth Square.
Planning documents say the niche where the new statue is set to be installed may never have had a statue placed within it before.
They add that “the niche may have been adapted in preparation for an unknown sculptural proposition, which could have been curtailed by the plague”.
It says the stone used for the statue will be Lepine, also known as Lavoux, from the village of Lavoux near the city of Poitiers in western France.