Birmingham’s King Edward VII is finally back to his resplendent best – just in time to meet one of his great-great grandsons today.
A restored statue of the King, who reigned from 1901 to 1910, was moved back to Birmingham city centre earlier this year after suffering decades of neglect in Highgate Park.
But, despite the spruce-up, the King was missing his sceptre, although part of the original could still be seen in his right hand.
Now he is back to his imposing best after a carbon copy of the regal regalia was added to the statue, now based in Centenary Square, in time for its official unveiling by his descendant Prince Charles today.
Stephen Hartland, chairman of the Birmingham and West Midlands Group of the Victorian Society, said: “The orb was missing after the statue had been damaged.
“But the carbon replacement has been made to look exactly like the original structure.
“Everyone involved in the restoration is looking forward to the Prince’s visit and I am delighted the statue has returned to the city centre.”
The statue was paid for by Birmingham Mail readers following the King’s death and was created by sculptor Albert Toft.
It was moved from Victoria Square in 1951 and left in Highgate Park for almost 60 years.
There, it ended up a sad shadow of its former glory, vandalised and covered in graffiti.
The sculpture was moved back to a plinth outside Baskerville House in Centenary Squatre following a £114,000 restoration.
And the newly-restored work will be unveiled by Prince Charles.
He will also visit stalls at the nearby Frankfurt Christmas market during his time in Birmingham.
Security is expected to be tight to prevent a repeat of the incident in London when the Prince’s car was attacked during the protests against the rise in tuition fees.