The King and Queen’s coronation garments will be at the center of a new exhibit during the summer opening of Buckingham Palace
The coronation will live on this summer for visitors to Buckingham Palace.
The ornate garments worn by King Charles and Queen Camilla at their historic May 6 ceremony at Westminster Abbey are going on show during the palace's annual summer opening from July 14 to September 24, the Royal Collection Trust (RCT) announced Friday.
This will include the purple silk and velvet Robe of Estate worn by Charles, which was also used by his grandfather George VI in 1937, plus the cream silk overshirt that Charles wore throughout the service. Also on show will be the Purple Coronation Tunic that Charles donned for his departure from the Abbey.
Items shown alongside these include The King’s Royal Naval Trousers, which are part of the King’s Royal Navy ceremonial uniform, and Queen Camilla’s Bruce Oldfield dress. Other regalia will also feature in the display inside the palace Ballroom.
According to the RCT release, the designs of the newly-made overshirt and Charles’s tunic were inspired by similar items worn by King George V and King George VI at their Coronations. The overshirt’s collar and cuffs feature embroidered oak leaves and acorns, while the tunic is made of purple satin and trimmed with gold artillery lace.
As well as the outfits that Charles, 74, and Camilla, 75, wore as they departed from the Abbey in the Gold State Coach, a selection of historic vestments worn by the King at the moment of his crowning will also be on show. These include the Coronation Glove, Girdle (or Sword Belt) and Stole Royal, the RCT added.
Visitors will also be able to see Queen Camilla’s Coronation Dress — designed by Bruce Oldfield — up close for the first time. The modern ivory Peau de Soie silk dress features silver and gold embroidered floral designs intertwined with celebratory bunting.
Wildflowers including daisy chains, forget-me-nots, celandine and scarlet pimpernel decorate it, signifying Camilla's love of nature, gardening and the British countryside, stated the RCT. The hem of the underskirt and the cuffs of each sleeve are also embroidered with the floral emblems of the four nations of the United Kingdom (rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.)
The brilliance of the seamstresses and dressmakers will be also there to see in Camilla’s Robe of Estate, which was made in rich purple velvet by Ede and Ravenscroft, and designed and hand embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework using goldwork — a technique that dates back more than 1000 years. Floral emblems of the United Kingdom and a further 20 plants chosen for their personal associations were also included.
The Stole Royal in particular holds some poignancy. It was presented to Charles by his son Prince William during the service and worn for the moment of crowning. Inspired by the stole worn by Queen Elizabeth II for her Coronation in 1953, it was created and embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework, from a design prepared by the Royal College of Arms.
Alongside the historic garments, visitors to the palace will also be able to see the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, which carried the couple from Buckingham Palace to the Abbey on the morning of the ceremony.
The spectacular Gold State Coach — used at every Coronation since that of William IV in 1831 — that carried Charles and Camilla back to the palace will be on show at the neighboring Royal Mews.
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Tickets for the exhibition are out now. By purchasing a Royal Day Out ticket, visitors can combine their visit to the State Rooms with a trip to the Royal Mews, where they will see the spectacular Gold State Coach.
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