Sculptor Frances Segelman talks to Luxe about her royal masterpieces

Acclaimed sculptor Frances Segelman gives us an insight into her latest royal creations…
Sculptor large

Born in Yorkshire, self-taught sculptor Frances Segelman is renowned for her exceptional sculptures of the Royal Family, not least because she is one of very few people allowed to get close to royalty…

Frances has created busts of Her Majesty The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales among many others. She is also an established sculptor of personalities from the world of entertainment, sport and politics, including Dame Joan Collins, Boris Johnson, Joanna Lumley and Vic Reeves. She shares all about her fascinating career…



How did you get into sculpting?


I love Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rodin – all the classical artists. I studied them and sketched in my books – over and over. I just love their work! My father was a violinist and composer, and my mother was an artist, so at home I was always surrounded by art and creativity.


My mum was also a dress designer and had wanted to go to art school just after the war, but they couldn’t afford that in her family. She had to go to work to bring in money so that her brother could study, so she missed out on that. Although she wasn’t a professional artist, her art was marvellous. She used to teach me how to draw faces and bodies when I was a little girl and when we went on holiday I always made sculptures in the sand.


Art was the only subject I liked at school. I used to sleep through all the other subjects. I really found school absolutely awful, but I loved art and anything where I could get hands-on creative.


Sculptor The Queen 2 700 x 700

How did you establish links with the Royal Family?


London Youth Charity asked me to sculpt Prince Philip – and as a result of that sculpture, I was asked to sculpt the Queen. Subsequently, I sculpted Prince Charles, Prince William, Princess Anne, the Duke of Kent and most recently, the Countess of Wessex.


It must be a real honour to create these pieces of art for the Royal Family, how does it make you feel?


I’ve sculpted many members of the Royal Family and I’ve enjoyed it very much, but there’s nobody else I think would be as out of this world as the Queen was to me. It was such a privilege, and I was so honoured that she would trust me. It was absolutely surreal and unbelievable to go into the room at Buckingham Palace and measure her head, it was really nerve wracking. It was really strange because I just knew in advance how I wanted it to look.

She is so elegant – she’s my role model. Ever since, I’ve had her picture in my dressing room and where I sleep. The Queen is a very strong person to look up to and I think that strength came out in the sculpture.

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