"They had only been up five minutes and the village was in total uproar," a local source tells PEOPLE

By Phil Boucher
Updated December 04, 2015 02:35 PM
Advertisement
Geoff Swaine/UPPA/Zuma; Inset: Chris Jackson/Getty

The good people of Princess Kate‘s home village of Bucklebury are justifiably proud of their most famous daughter.

Yet they generally shy away from publicly celebrating the fact that a future Queen – and mom to two tiny royals – was raised in the heart of their community.

That has just changed thanks to a pair of 8-foot tall gate posts that now stand at the entrance of the village in honor of Kate’s 2011 royal wedding to Prince William.

Hand-crafted by local artist Marnie Moyle, the oak posts bear simple plaques that read: “Welcome through one of the historic gates of Bucklebury” and “To commemorate the wedding of Catherine and William XXIX. IV. MMXI.”

At their top sit intricate acorn carvings, a historic symbol of Bucklebury that also features on Princess Kate’s family crest.

“The gateposts are environmentally sensitive and fit into the surrounding landscape, being the entrance to one of the oldest avenues in England,” Willie Hartley Russell, the owner of the Bucklebury Estate, tells PEOPLE.

“They are a fitting commemoration to mark the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011.”

Want to keep up with the latest royals coverage? Click here to subscribe to the Royals Newsletter.

But as with all pieces of art, the posts have had a mixed reception among the local villagers.

“They had only been up five minutes and the village was in total uproar,” one local tells PEOPLE.

“There have been coffee meetings about them and lots of plotting in the local pubs.”

Meanwhile, another local offers the opposite opinion. “They are really lovely,” the villager tells PEOPLE. “Those people who are opposing them need to get a life!”

The gate posts themselves stand at the entrance to an oak-lined roadway known as The Avenue, which runs directly past the former family home of Princess Kate.

Cut from local oak, they have been designed to blend in with the ancient trees, which were originally planted to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth I to Bucklebury House in the 16th century.

A second row of trees was added a couple of hundred years later to celebrate the British victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Despite the slightly mixed reception, Hartley Russell – a close friend of Carole Middleton and husband Michael Middleton – maintains that “the overwhelming reaction to the gateposts has been very positive indeed.”

It also has to be remembered that he had best possible intention in mind: celebrating the wedding of their local girl to the future King of England.

“All the local residents that I know have warmly welcomed them,” continues Hartley Russell.

“We have been inundated with letters, emails and telephone calls of support for days.”