Every summer, Buckingham Palace opens its doors to the general public, primarily whilst Her Majesty is at Balmoral Castle, to get a taste of the opulence and splendour of the Palace through a tour of the state rooms and gardens. In 2012, the special exhibition, alongside the state rooms, was the opening of the ‘Diamonds’ exhibition, displaying possessions of the Queen which contained thousands of diamonds, in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee.
This year, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s coronation in 1953 [on 2nd June], the central exhibition will be based around The Queen’s coronation and in particular, the coronation robes worn by Her Majesty at the event.
The exhibition will also feature robes and jewellery worn by the Queen at Westminster Abbey and robes worn by the Queen Mother, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Margaret.
The exhibition will run from 27 July 2013 until 29 September 2013.
Caroline de Guitaut, the curator of the exhibition explained: “The 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s Coronation provides a marvellous occasion to exhibit these charming clothes alongside the grand dresses and robes of the Royal family.
The coronation robes themselves were originally made by a team of seamstresses from the Royal School Of Needlework and was designed to incorporate pictorial representations of all the Commonwealth Realms including the English Tudor rose, Scots thistle, Welsh leek, Irish shamrock, Canadian maple leaf, Australian wattle, New Zealand silver fern, South African protea, lotus flowers for India and Ceylon, and Pakistan’s wheat, cotton, and jute.
The dress itself was designed by Normal Hartnell, the same person who designed the Queen’s wedding dress in 1947. Initially, he had proposed 8 designs and obviously, the one that was chosen was the aforementioned.
The information is not strictly correct. The Purple Robe of Sate was designed and stitched by a team of 12 embroiderers around the clock from March of May 1953 and features olive leaves, olives and ears of wheat, all in padded gold embroidery, to denote peace and plenty during the Queen’s reign. I can speak from experience because, as a student at that time, I was ALLOWED to do several stitches on the Robe. The dress was, indeed, designed and embroidered at the Norman Hartnell Fashion House and the details are correct.
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