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Last Updated: Friday, 26 May 2006, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
6th Century royal statues on show
King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha
King Ethelbert was "overlord of the southern English kingdoms"
Two bronze statues of a 6th Century king and queen of Kent have been officially unveiled at their new home.

The King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha figures, both standing at more than 7ft tall, are getting a permanent residence at Lady Wootton's Green in Canterbury.

Prince Michael of Kent unveiled the statues alongside the Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Councillor Pat Todd.

They were made as part of the Canterbury Commemoration Society's "Ethelbert and Bertha project".

The society's Martin Taylor said they had raised 100,000 towards their creation.

Christain mission

They were made over the course of two years by Ramsgate sculptor Stephen Melton.

The statues were on display together in the museum at St Augustine's Abbey for seven months, before being moved to Lady Wootton's Green last month so that landscaping work could be carried out around them.

The statues are placed so that King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha appear to be speaking to each other.

An inscription on a bronze monolith at the site details how King Ethelbert met a Christian mission from Rome when it arrived in Kent in AD597.

Its leader, St Augustine, became the first Archbishop of Canterbury.


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