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King Charles III

King Charles turns to his grandfather, King George VI’s robes, for the Coronation

King Charles III will wear the Robe of State and Robe of Estate belonging to his grandfather at his Coronation.

His Majesty will use the same robes worn by George VI at his own Coronation in 1937. The decision is a nod to his beloved grandfather – The King was extremely close to his grandparents. It is also in keeping with Charles III’s desire to make his reign and his Coronation as sustainable as possible.

The Robe of State is worn by the Monarch as they arrive at Westminster Abbey for the Coronation. The Robe of Estate is assumed at the end of the ceremony and is worn for the final procession and the departure from the Abbey. It is also the robe that The King will wear in official portraits and photographs of the Coronation.

King George VI’s Robe of State was made of crimson velvet, decorated with gold lace and trimmed with ermine, as is usual. The velvet has been conserved by the Royal School of Needlework ahead of the Coronation of King Charles while the ermine and lace has been treated and cared for by Ede and Ravenscroft.

The Robe of Estate that will now unite grandfather and grandson is made of purple silk velvet and trimmed with ermine. Ede and Ravenscroft, who have made robes for every Coronation since 1689, have conserved this historic garment in preparation for the Coronation of Charles III.

The Robe of State is also known as the Parliament Robe and is worn on other occasions including the State Opening of Parliament. The Robe of Estate is also called the Imperial Robe, a nod to its colour purple, the shade of emperors.

The Coronation takes place on May 6 2023 at Westminster Abbey.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.