King Charles’s Coronation outfits to go on display at Buckingham Palace

The King’s Robe of Estate - HUGO BURNAND/ROYAL HOUSEHOLD 2023
The King’s Robe of Estate - HUGO BURNAND/ROYAL HOUSEHOLD 2023

The King and Queen’s Coronation outfits are to go on display at Buckingham Palace this summer.

The clothing will form the centrepiece of a special Coronation display, staged in the ballroom from July 14 until September 23.

It will include both of Their Majesties’ Robes of Estate, worn for the procession from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace and their subsequent appearance on the balcony, as well as the Queen’s Coronation dress, designed by Bruce Oldfield.

Visitors will also be able to view the historic vestments worn by the King at the moment of crowning, including the Coronation Glove, Girdle and Stole Royal.

Other items of the monarch’s clothing will include the cream silk overshirt, worn throughout the service, and the purple coronation tunic, worn for departure from the Abbey, both created especially for the occasion.

The designs were inspired by similar items worn by King George V and King George VI at their coronations.

Diamond Jubilee State Coach - Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock
Diamond Jubilee State Coach - Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

The overshirt’s collar and cuffs feature embroidered oak leaves and acorns, while the tunic is made of purple satin and trimmed with gold artillery lace.

Shown alongside these will be the King’s Royal Naval trousers, which are regularly worn by His Majesty as part of his Royal Navy full ceremonial uniform.

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach, used by the King and Queen to travel from Buckingham Palace to the Abbey, will also be on display at the palace’s state entrance.

Built in Australia and first used in 2014, the three-ton, 18-ft-long coach boasts hydraulic suspension, a heating system, lighting, electric windows and air conditioning.

Crucially, it also celebrates hundreds of years of British history, with pieces of Henry VIII's warship the Mary Rose, Sir Issac Newton's apple tree and Hut Six at codebreaking centre Bletchley Park among the many artefacts incorporated into the bodywork.

The King’s Robe of Estate was worn by his grandfather, George VI for his Coronation in 1937.

Made of purple silk velvet with gold lace, it was conserved by the robemakers Ede and Ravenscroft for the occasion.

The Queen’s ivory Peau de Soie silk dress features the first names of her children, Tom (Parker Bowles) and Laura (Lopes), along with those of her grandchildren, Gus, Freddy, Louis, Eliza and Lola.

Her beloved Jack Russell terriers, Beth and Bluebell, who were rehomed from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in 2017, were also embroidered into the dress, their distinctive profiles rendered in gold thread.

The dress is also covered with swathes of embroidered wildflowers including daisy chains, forget-me-nots, celandine and scarlet pimpernel, representing the King and Queen’s shared affection for nature and the British countryside.

The Queen’s rich purple Robe of Estate was made especially for the occasion and designed to match the King’s.

It is embroidered in goldwork threads and intricately decorated with bees, a beetle and a host of flowers, drawing on the themes of nature and the environment - a first for a coronation robe.

Queen Camilla dogs dress - Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Buckingham Palace
Queen Camilla dogs dress - Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Buckingham Palace

The robe pays tribute to the King by incorporating delphiniums - one of his favourite flowers - which are also Camilla's birth month flower. In memory of Elizabeth II, it includes the late Queen's favourite bloom, lily of the valley, which Camilla also included in her wedding bouquet.

The Queen wore the garment, which also includes her cypher, after her crowning for the departure from Westminster Abbey.

It was hand embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework, of which Camilla is patron.

The display will form part of the annual summer opening of the State Rooms.

By purchasing a Royal Day Out ticket, visitors can combine their visit to the State Rooms with a trip to the Royal Mews, where they will see the Gold State Coach, which carried the King and Queen back to Buckingham Palace from the Abbey.

The Gold State Coach has been used at every Coronation since that of William IV in 1831.