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 will be unveiled to the public at an event to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

Buckingham Palace has given approval in principle 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 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.”

The Minster’s neighbourhood plan includes proposals for a new public square, to be called the Queen Elizabeth Square, which would be overlooked by the statue.

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.”

Planning documents say the niche where the new statue is set to be installed may never have had a statue placed within it before, adding 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.

York Minster says the statue and square are part of a project that will “signal the recovery and resurgence of the city from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic and as a symbol of hope”.

The planning application says: “Her Majesty has approved the proposal and will ultimately select the design of the statue which will be carved by the Minster’s masons.

“Chapter wish to adorn the Minster and to honour Her Majesty.

“Buckingham Palace has given assent in principle to the ambitions of a public realm enhancement project, which would transform the west front of the Minster and the sense of civic place in the environs.

“We will create what will become the Queen Elizabeth Square.

“The proposed statue is an emblematic part of this exciting vision […] and will be part of the public campaign to signal the recovery and resurgence of the city from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic and as a symbol of hope.

“The brief Chapter set is to adorn the selected west front niche with a high quality statue of our sovereign, depicted in her garter robes, with the key symbols of her office as the head of our church and state.”