05/14/2012

Wax version No. 23 of Queen Elizabeth gets it right

Queen1
Which is the real Queen Elizabeth? The one with the purse, of course.

It’s always a bit unsettling to look at a wax figure of a real person, principally because it never looks like the real person.

Even Queen Elizabeth must squirm as some of the attempts to capture her likeness, where she looked more ready for the morgue than the monarchy.

Not so with this latest version.

Madame Tussauds in London unveiled their 23rd version of the Queen on Monday – a special Diamond Jubilee model – and it is impressive in its rendering.

Queen oldThen again, at $240,000, you’d expect a decent makeover.

The attention to detail was intense: every hair was added individually, dozens of photos and video were studied, the clothing and jewelry are exact replicas. The Queen probably doesn't like wrinkles any more than anyone else, but at least these wax wrinkles look like wrinkles.

While the royals take an arm’s length approach to these figures, they did supply measurements and approved designs.

Steve Swales was the principal sculptor, leading a  team of 20 people for more than four months to complete the job. He credits a meeting with the Queen for inspiration. 

“She was very relaxed and warm and I’ve tried to portray that, whilst maintaining a sense of majesty,” he said. “Her expression is soft, as if she is just about to break into a smile. I hope she approves of the end result.”

Queen wax1
Madame Tussauds employee Lisa Burton poses with a new figure of Britan's Queen Elizabeth, produced in honour of her Diamond Jubilee in London. (Reuters)

Queen wax2
Queen Elizabeth takes her place alongside Prince Philip, her grandson Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Madame Tussauds in London on Monday.

PIPPA FOR SALE?

Pippa Middleton is not for sale. At least not yet, despite what a Florida-based celebrity booking agent was claiming.

Pippa 1Celebrity Talent Promotions was touting Kate Middleton’s sister as available for ''corporate appearances, speaking engagements, endorsements and autograph signings” at the modest fee of $140,000.

The company’s website also she could host events and do print and TV advertisements.

When London’s Daily Star phoned to inquire, they were told the costs could even go higher.

“You have to understand that she is connected to royalty so there are security issues here,” said one employee. “The final figure might even be much higher.

''We're talking about two or three first-class round-trip airline tickets from London, plus five-star hotel accommodation while she's here. If you email me all the details about your event we will forward them to her.''

Pippa’s own spokespeople got to the agency first. “This company does not represent my client and has no authority to make these claims about her on its website,” said a representative. “We will be contacting them about this issue.''

As of today, there is no trace of Pippa on the Celebrity Talent Promotions website.

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