HELLO! sat down for a chat with the Queen's very own sculptor, Frances Segelman, who opened up about her sittings with the royal. Frances, who recently sculpted a bust of Eamonn Holmes in just three hours for charity, revealed that the monarch talked "all the time" during their sessions, and gave an insight into some of their conversations.
Frances said: "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 jewelry, 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!"
Speaking about their conversation, Frances continued: "It was my ultimate dream in the world and I just loved her. She was very caring, one of the things she was chatting about was that she was very concerned about the people outside of the palace, that they walk around there and they're not looking where they're going - I think it must have been the time when cars were allowed to go around - she was worried someone would get run over. And then she was telling about people who come to stay in the palace, guests from abroad, she was talking all the time. It was non-stop!"
Frances revealed that she stealthily found out whether the Queen liked her sculpture, as she wasn't allowed to ask her outright. She said: "[The Queen] was [happy with the sculpture]. The way I knew was because I spoke to my husband before the last sitting and he said, 'You should really find out if she likes it before you finish it,' and I said, 'Well you're not allowed to ask questions like that.' So he said, 'Why don't you say to her, 'Do you think your hair should be shorter?'' So I asked that question on the last sitting and she said, 'Maybe just a little bit', so I did that and she said, 'That's okay'. And the last question was, 'Are you happy for this to go to the Foundry now?' and she said, 'Yes I am and don't fiddle with it afterwards!' And that was it! I knew she loved it."