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Godfather of Pop Art chooses Chelsie's corgi drawing as a gift fit for a Queen

Corgi drawing

Ten-year-old Chelsie White has presented Her Majesty The Queen with a framed portrait of a corgi, complete with crown, after winning a drawing competition judged by the godfather of British Pop Art Sir Peter Blake.

Chelsie, of Leicester, personally presented the gift to The Queen yesterday (8 March) when Her Majesty visited De Montfort University - the first stop on a nationwide tour to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee year.

Chelsie entered a competition run by De Montfort University at the city’s Slater Primary School to draw the Queen’s favourite breed of dog.

And Sir Peter, a supporter of the university, judged hers to be the best, signing the drawing with the comment “we liked all the corgis but the one I have chosen has the best crown”.

Chelsie said: “At first I was really nervous, but as soon as The Queen came up and talked to me, I was fine. She told me it was a very good drawing and would like to think about putting it up somewhere.

“Kate said the picture was very good too and asked if I’d ever drawn a landscape before, while Prince Philip came up and said ‘Did you draw this?’

“Art is my favourite subject and I would like to be an artist when I grow up. My mum was a bit scared about telling me I had won the competition and my drawing was going to be framed and presented to The Queen because she thought I would scream. And I did!

“I asked all my friends to look out for me on the telly.”

Mum Sue Granger, who lives with Chelsie in the Newfoundpool area of the city, said: “I am just overwhelmed with all the opportunities that have come Chelsie’s way. It is such an honour for the family to be associated with a gift for The Queen.”

De Montfort University asked Slater Primary School to take part in the competition as it falls within the university’s Square Mile area.

The Square Mile project is a pioneering initiative – the first in the UK – in which the university draws on the skills and research of its academics and students to make a difference in a square mile area of the city of Leicester.

The Duke of Edinburgh attended a special presentation about the Square Mile project, and met academics, students and community members, during the Royal Visit to DMU yesterday.

Launched in September last year, 20 Square Mile projects are currently running in the area. Another 20 are to be launched later this month.

More than 200 staff and students have so far volunteered to help out.

Because of them, and the enthusiasm of the community, the project has turned a neglected piece of land at Tudor Park into a community garden, taught 200 primary school children about looking after their finances and started a robot club for teenage pupils to learn more about technology and engineering. 

It has also offered free English language classes to the Polish community,  seen law students advise residents through a Street Law initiative and student midwives are promoting breast feeding in an area where the number of babies being breast fed is lower than average.

There have been listen and talk sessions to improve communication skills for two to four-year-olds run by DMU Speech and Language Therapy staff, while free hearing tests have taken place in community centres with follow up consultations by audiology experts at DMU.

Youth and Community students, from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,  are on placement in the Square Mile, providing more than 1,500 hours of work with younger residents.

Members of DMU staff have also taken up four year Community Governor roles in local primary schools so their skills and experience can make a difference for children.

Posted on Friday 9th March 2012

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