Coronation Display at Buckingham Palace

From tomorrow, there is a special Coronation Display as part of the ten-week annual Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, which will run from 14 July – 24 September 2023, and features items from the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla this year. We were there at last year’s ‘Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession’ Exhibition when the Queen passed away.

Reception at Buckingham Palace | Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla | Royal Guests

Upon arrival at the entrance of the Palace, visitors will view the spectacular Diamond Jubilee State Coach, in which the King and Queen rode from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.

Visitors to the Summer Opening of the State Rooms will be able to see the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, which conveyed Their Majesties to Westminster Abbey for the Coronation and which is on display in the Palace’s State Entrance.

Following a Tour of the State Rooms, the Coronation Display is in the Palace Ballroom, with the highlight being the King’s Coronation Ensemble with the Collar and Great George of the Order of the Garter and the Robes of Estate alongside Queen Camilla’s Coronation Down and Robe of Estate.

The Robe of Estate worn by The King for his departure from Westminster Abbey was worn by his grandfather King George VI for his Coronation in 1937. It is made of purple silk velvet with gold lace and was conserved by the robemakers Ede and Ravenscroft in preparation for use by His Majesty. The King’s cream silk overshirt, worn throughout the service, and the Purple Coronation Tunic, worn for departure from the Abbey, were created especially for the occasion by Turnbull & Asser and Ede and Ravenscroft respectively. Their designs were inspired by similar items worn by King George V and King George VI at their Coronations. Shown alongside these are The King’s Royal Naval Trousers, which are regularly worn by His Majesty as part of his Royal Navy full ceremonial uniform.

Her Majesty Queen Camilla’s Coronation Dress was designed by Bruce Oldfield. Structured like a coat dress, the modern ivory Peau de Soie silk dress features silver and gold embroidered floral designs, which represent Their Majesties’ affection for nature and the British countryside. Her Majesty’s Robe of Estate 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 a thousand years. The robe’s design draws on themes of nature and the environment, including the floral emblems of the United Kingdom. For the first time on a Coronation robe, the design also features insects, including bees, butterflies, a beetle and a caterpillar.

Since the Imperial State Crown, the Coronation Regalia, and Queen Mary’s Crown are on display at the Jewel House at the Tower of London, the most significant jewel on display is the magnificent Coronation Necklace, which has been worn by five Queens at their Coronations.

The Coronation Gauntlet (1937) and the Coronation Girdle (1911)

Visitors will have the chance to view up close some of the historic vestments worn by His Majesty as he was crowned. These include the Coronation Glove and the Girdle, which were worn by King George VI at his Coronation in 1937. The newly created Stole Royal was presented to His Majesty by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales during the service and worn for the moment of crowning. Its embroidered design on the cloth of gold features images of the four emblems of the United Kingdom; a dove of peace (representing the Holy Spirit); a Tudor Crown; and a pattern inspired by the Cosmati Pavement in Westminster Abbey, upon which the Anointing of His Majesty took place

On the far end of the Ballroom is the Anointing Screen,  representing the 56 member countries of the Commonwealth, along with a pair of Throne Chairs from 1937.

The Anointing Screen was designed by iconographer Aidan Hart and brought to life through both hand and digital embroidery, managed by the Royal School of Needlework. The central design takes the form of a tree which includes 56 representing the 56 member countries of the Commonwealth. The King’s cypher is positioned at the base of the tree, representing the Sovereign as servant of their people. The design has been selected personally by The King and is inspired by the stained-glass Sanctuary Window in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, which was gifted by the Livery Companies to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.

Also on display are the preliminary and final designs for the Coronation Invitation.

The original artwork for the invitation was hand-painted in watercolour and gouache, and the design will be reproduced and printed on recycled card, with gold foil detailing. Central to the design is the motif of the Green Man, an ancient figure from British folklore, symbolic of spring and rebirth, to celebrate the new reign. The shape of the Green Man, crowned in natural foliage, is formed of leaves of oak, ivy and hawthorn, and the emblematic flowers of the United Kingdom.

The British wildflower meadow bordering the invitation features lily of the valley, cornflowers, wild strawberries, dog roses, bluebells, and a sprig of rosemary for remembrance, together with wildlife including a bee, a butterfly, a ladybird, a wren and a robin. Flowers appear in groupings of three, signifying The King becoming the third monarch of his name.

A lion, a unicorn and a boar – taken from the coats of arms of the Monarch and Her Majesty’s father, Major Bruce Shand – can be seen amongst the flowers. Her Majesty’s arms are now enclosed by the Garter, following her installation as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter last summer.

The Coronation Display is included as part of your visit to the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, 14 July – 24 September 2023. Buy Tickets

Reception at Buckingham Palace | Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla | Royal Guests

‘Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession’ Exhibition

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