“The Queen’s Coronation 1953” display at Buckingham Palace. Photo © Eugenie Absalom
For the first time since Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation Day in 1953, a spectacular Coronation show at Buckingham Palace brought together an array of royal dress, robes, uniform, jewels and diamonds as part of the State Rooms Summer Opening 2013.
“The Queen’s Coronation 1953” exhibition (27 July – 29 September) is celebrating the 60th anniversary of this historic event. Royal regalia, paintings, photography and recordings recreate the atmosphere of that extraordinary State occasion that has remained essentially unchanged for the past 1,000 years.
The crowning of the Sovereign is an ancient ceremony. For the last 900 years it has taken place at Westminster Abbey. Before the Abbey was built, Coronations were carried out at Bath, Oxford, Canterbury, etc.
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Dress and the 6,5 metres long Robe. Photo © Eugenie Absalom
The Palace’s Ballroom houses a grandeur and sumptuous display of elaborate gowns and uniforms, worn by the senior royals and The Queen’s Maids of Honour at coronation. The centerpiece of the show is the Queen’s white satin Coronation dress, created by the British couturier Norman Hartnell. The design incorporates an iconographic scheme of embroidered national and Commonwealth floral emblems in gold, silver and pastel-coloured silks, encrusted with crystals, pearls and sequins.
The Dress embroideries were are arranged in three scalloped tiers with a pointed waist. Each tier, together with the edge of the skirt, were embellished with a border of gold bugle beads, diamantes and pearls. The skirt has a slight train and was reinforced with horsehair crinoline – a woven fabric made of a mixture of linen and horsehair. It ensured that the skirt would not lose its shape under the weight of embroideries.
Coronation dress, Coronation State Banquet display & original BBC camera. Photo © Eugenie Absalom
As part of the exhibition this summer, The State Dining Room is dressed to recreate the atmosphere of Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation State Banquets of 3 and 4 June 1953.
Visit Demotix to view more of my photos of The Queen’s Coronation 1953 exhibition.
News and photos by Eugenie Absalom
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