There have been plenty of firsts for the royals as the Firm adapts to new ways of working amid the coronavirus pandemic. It’s been revealed that the Countess of Wessex will be the first royal to sit for British sculptor Frances Segelman during a groundbreaking virtual event.

The Daily Mail’s Richard Eden reports that the Leeds-born sculptor told him: “It is a privilege. It will be the first time a member of the royal family has sat for me as part of a live virtual event, and the first royal sculpture I have created as a tactile piece of art for blind and partially sighted people.”

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Frances created this bronze bust of the Queen in 2008

The work is reportedly set to be unveiled in 2021 to mark sight loss charity Vision Foundation’s centenary. Sophie has been the organisation’s patron since 2003, having taken over the role from the Queen Mother.

Frances is known for her sculptures of royalty and celebrities, including a bronze bust of the Queen in 2008. In a previous interview with HELLO! in 2017, Frances said of Her Majesty: “She’s just an amazing lady. I literally almost cried when I was leaving because I felt that I’d learned so much just being in her presence. She’s a very special person. She came in the room and she was so calm and so poised and so willing to change her tiara, to change the jewellery, to try different things on and she seems so ordinary… She was sitting on a slightly higher area than I was sculpting so I had to measure her with callipers so I was going backwards and forwards from her hair! I was so nervous, you know, I was touching the Queen!”

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Frances and Prince Charles with his sculpture

The sculptor has also created works of the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Kent as well as a whole host of celebrities and famous faces.  

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