AN ARTIST has raised more than £17,000 with the help of a Basingstoke firm from the sales of a now-viral sketch depicting the late Queen Elizabeth II reunited with Prince Philip, released after her death in September.

As the news broke of the Queen's death, Kerri Cunningham, who lives near Preston, Lancashire, thought back to a photograph released when Prince Philip died, showing the Queen and Prince Philip sat on a picnic rug and decided to recreate the photo and raise money for NSPCC. 

Family-run business, THEMPC, stepped in to help Kerri sell the sketch, now it has been revealed that sales of the print have raised £17,131.40 for the charity. 

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A cheque was presented by THEMPC owners, Emma and Paul Marsh to Sir Peter Wanless, the chief executive of The NSPCC to be used for Childline.

The money raised by Kerri and THEMPC equates to Childline being powered for over 12 hours.

As fundraising is still ongoing, Kerri and THEMPC hope to make an additional donation in January, with the aim of achieving over £20,000 if sales continue.

The sketch was initially drawn by Kerri, who goes by her pen name Murphys Sketches, when she shared the now iconic visual on her Instagram page when news began to break of the monarch’s passing, as a tribute. Soon after, Kerri was inundated with likes and shares from people the sketch had so clearly struck a chord with, and even received emails from people wanting to buy a copy of it.

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In order for Kerri to produce prints on a mass scale, she enlisted the help of THEMPC which, in just a few days, set up a website print shop to facilitate the demand, taking care of everything from order to print and delivery.  

Kerri says: “I am thrilled that together with the generous help of THEMPC, we were able to raise such a large amount of money. I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to the Queen than to donate to a charity that, as for many of us, was so clearly close to her heart, and will hopefully go a long way to help children in need.”

Emma added: “As soon as we saw that Kerri needed help back in September, we both knew we had to offer our services. It’s been a real labour of love and it’s all been worth it. We are so proud to have helped raise so much money for the NSPCC and although it comes as a result of a sad event, we’re so pleased that something great, to help those who need it the most, has come out of it.”