King Charles III’s coronation will be a blend of modern and traditional.
The Supertunica he will wear is firmly in the “traditional” column. In fact, it dates back to medieval coronations and is one of the items mentioned in the ‘Liber Regalis,’ which is basically a Coronation guide book that dates back to 1382 when Richard II reigned.
The ‘Liber Regalis’ says the Supertunica is “interwoven before and behind with great figures of gold.”
There have been a few Supertunicas through the years. It is assumed the early ones were destroyed after the English Civil War when all symbols of monarchy were destroyed or sold. It is one of the few coronation garments that is passed down from monarch to monarch.Embed from Getty Images
The one King Charles will wear dates back to his great-grandfather, George V. It was made in 1911 by Wilkinson & Son of Hanover Square, London. George VI and Queen Elizabeth II also wore it. The Supertunica has a Byzantine-inspired design and resembles a priestly garment. It symbolises the divine connection to being monarch.
The Supertunica will be worn by King Charles after he is blessed and consecrated during the anointing portion of the Coronation. This signals the beginning of the Investiture. After the Supertunica, the King will receive many of the items we associate with monarchy, including the Sceptre, sword and orb before he is crowned with St. Edward’s Crown.
Made of gold silk, the floor length, long-sleeved robe is open in the front with a gold belt and buckle. It is decorated with symbols of the nations of the United Kingdom: roses for England, thistles for Scotland, shamrock for Northern Ireland and daffodils for Wales. There is an embroidered band on both sides of the front opening with the same national symbols. The entire robe is lined with red silk.
Once the Investiture is complete, King Charles will remove the Supertunica and put on the Imperial Robe or Robe of Estate before processing out of Westminster Abbey.