Jubilee version of queen at Madame Tussauds

May 15, 2012 at 12:13 AM
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LONDON, May 15 (UPI) -- The 23rd wax version of Queen Elizabeth II went on public display Monday at Madame Tussauds in London to mark the 60th year of her reign.

The popular tourist attraction said 20 people worked for four months on the model, The Guardian reported. The hair on her head is human, although the eyes are acrylic.

Steve Swales, Madame Tussauds' principal sculptor, based the model on photographs he took for an earlier version in 2001. He described the experience as "extremely exciting" and "rather nerve-wracking."

"She was very relaxed and warm and I've tried to portray that, whilst maintaining a sense of majesty," Swales said. "Her expression is soft, as if she is just about to break into a smile."

The wax queen is surrounded by other wax royals. Her husband, Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, is at her side, along with figures of Prince William and his wife, the duchess of Cambridge, which were unveiled in April, and Prince Charles and the duchess of Cornwall.

Marie Tussaud, an art tutor to the French royal family, learned how to make wax images doing death masks of aristocrats executed in the French Revolution. She moved to England in the early 19th century where she showed images of heroes and, in the Chamber of Horrors, notorious criminals.

Madame Tussauds has been at its current location in London since 1884.

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