Buckingham Palace relives the Queen's Coronation with exhibition featuring glorious gowns and jewels
26 JULY 2013
Buckingham Palace has unveiled an exhibition featuring the wonderful gowns, robes and gems worn by the Queen during her Coronation on 2 June 1953.
The breathtaking Norman Hartnell-designed gown donned by the young monarch on the day she became Queen are on display, along with the 21-foot purple velvet, Ermine-trimmed Coronation Robe.
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The Queen's Coronation 1953 exhibition also includes eye-catching jewels, crowns and dazzling diamonds worn by royals on the momentous day. Visitors can admire the diamond Halo tiara worn by Princess Margaret and later loaned by the Queen to Kate Middleton for her wedding to Prince William.
Open to the public from Saturday 27 July, the exhibition offers visitors a chance to relive the special event with never-seen-before private home films of the Coronation, shot on the Queen's instruction.
Objects from the sacred moment the Queen was anointed with oil in a private ceremony, along with the plain white linen anointing dress worn by the Queen over her coronation dress, are being put on public display for the first time.
Her Majesty's breathtaking white satin gown that she wore to take the throne, complete with embroidered national and Commonwealth floral emblems in gold, silver and pastel-coloured silks, is the highlight of the exhibition.
Royal couturier Norman Hartnell, who also designed the beautiful outfits worn by the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and the maids of honour, was behind the magnificent English purple silk-velvet creation, which was encrusted with crystals, pearls and sequins.
It took members of the Royal School of Needlework an incredible 3,500 hours to embroider the Queen's robe. Embroidery details include wheat ears and olive branches, representing peace and prosperity.
In order to get what was probably the school's most important commission of all time finished for the historic day, the school employed a policy of "never a seat goes cold", ensuring that embroidery was being done every minute of the day.
"I just admire the incredible craftsmanship and the design of Hartnell's dresses," said exhibition curator Caroline de Guitaut. "To produce that incredible beautiful unified look for not only Her Majesty the Queen but other members of the Royal Family was really an incredible feat."
Adorable outfits made for Prince Charles, who was then four, and two-year-old Princess Anne, are also on display.