Yesterday, the Queen visited Poundbury, near Dorchester, to unveil a new statue of the Queen Mother.
Alongside the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Queen arrived in Poundbury by Royal Train, which passed through Bournemouth.
Charles, the Prince of Wales, designed Poundbury, with construction beginning in 1993. It currently houses around 3,000 residents and 185 businesses. Upon completion, which is estimated to be in 2025, it will house 5,000 residents and contribute £500m to the local economy.
The Queen, having not been to Poundbury for eighteen years, arrived to witness the progress made and to unveil a statue of her mother.
This opened the new district centre ‘Queen Mother Square’, a square of classically designed buildings which, to Charles’s desire, are named after the Queen Mother’s favourite racehorses.
The bronze statue stands 3 metres tall (9ft 6in) and was designed by sculptor Philip Jackson. Thousands welcomed the Queen, waving British flags.
The idea for Poundbury, a 50-minute drive from Bournemouth, was outlined in Charles’ book ‘A Vision of Britain’, published in 1989.
In the book, Charles outlined his criticisms of the way modern towns were architecturally planned. Poundbury is a product of his visions of urban British design in the modern day.
However, Charles has also received criticism over his vision; he has been accused of not embracing modern architecture and staying in the past. For example, there are no road markings in Poundbury, which is ironic considering there is a driving test centre in the town.
Camilla also attended the opening of the Duchess of Cornwall Inn in Poundbury and poured a pint of aptly-named beer, “Duchess” for Prince Charles.
Before the unveiling ceremony, the Royals also visited Waitrose in Poundbury, receiving luxury hampers worth hundreds of pounds; the Queen even received extra dog biscuits for her Corgis.
Rupert Thomas, marketing director of Waitrose said: “The Queen was fascinated to talk with the dairy farmers and the local producers.”