Almost eight months to the day since his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away aged 96, King Charles III has been crowned.
Despite ascending to the throne following the late Monarch’s passing on September 8, 2022, today (May 6, 2023), the former Prince of Wales' coronation ceremony has seen him symbolically take the throne. In fact, the day has been full of symbolism, from the Sovereign’s Orb and the Sovereign’s Sceptre, right through to the royal guest's jewellery and clothes.
Ever ones to communicate through their brooches, tiaras, designer choices and clothes' colours, the royal guests at Westminster Abbey showed what a momentous occasion the coronation was through their outfits.
The King himself broke from tradition with his choice of dress - opting for his military uniform instead of the breeches and silk stockings worn by previous kings reportedly to 'reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in long-standing traditions and pageantry'.
Queen Camilla's outfit:
Queen Camilla joined her husband in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach wearing a white silk coronation dress with gold embroidery, designed by Bruce Oldfield. Speaking with The Telegraph, the 72-year-old designer said: 'For me this is the ultimate commission of my career. It has been very exciting and a real honour to design such an historic gown. I have been designing outfits for Her Majesty for over 10 years, so I know well what she likes and the type of dress that makes her look and feel really fabulous.'
Queen Camilla's gown is made from Peau de Soie silk, and features significant embroidery. Per an official statement from Buckingham Palace, 'The embellishment of the Coronation dress features delicate garlands of abstract wildflowers from fields and hedgerows: daisy chains, forget-me-nots, celandine and scarlet pimpernel, representing The King and The Queen Consort’s affection for nature and the British countryside.'
'Celebratory bunting, in antique gold and silver thread, intertwine amongst the swathes of wildflowers,' the statement continued. 'Embellishing the front hem area of the underskirt and the cuffs of each sleeve are the flower emblems of the four nations of the United Kingdom – a rose, a thistle, a daffodil and a shamrock. In designing the garment, Bruce Oldfield’s vision was to create a sophisticated and modern dress that showcases Her Majesty’s style and personality in its details. Her Majesty’s shoes were made by British designer Elliot Zed and are made of the same silk fabric as the dress.'
Kate Middleton's outfit:
Kate Middleton, meanwhile, was joined by her husband, William, the Prince of Wales, and their children Princess Charlotte and Princess Louis. Prince George arrived separately as one of the King's pages of honour.
The family wore full royal regalia for the occasion, with the Prince and Princess of Wales in a formal robe and mantle at the request of the King. The moment marks the first time that we have seen Kate Middleton wearing the traditional robes – but ever the modern princess, she paired them with a bespoke Alexander McQueen ivory silk dress, matching heels and a stunning, leaf-inspired headpiece also by McQueen in collaboration with milliner Jess Collett.
The Princess of Wales' dress featured a subtle reference to her 2011 wedding gown, that was also designed by McQueen's Sarah Burton. Embroidered upon her coronation dress were the same motifs that appeared on her wedding dress: rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock, representing the four nations of the United Kingdom.
Princess Kate's earrings, meanwhile, were also meaningful. The royal opted for a pair of diamond and pearl earrings that previously belonged to Princess Diana.
Princess Charlotte's outfit:
Even better, Princess Charlotte appeared in a look that perfectly matched her mother's. The eight-year-old wore a mini-sized version of Kate's stunning headpiece, marking the first time she has worn a tiara for an official event.
The young princess was also dressed in McQueen, wearing a sweet white cape and matching dress with chic ballet pumps. Princess Charlotte's cape was also embroidered with the same motifs that appeared on her mother's dress.
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