Buckingham Palace is soon to open its doors to reveal the wonderful gowns, robes and gems worn by the Queen for her Coronation on 2 June 1953.
The breathtaking Norman Hartnell-designed gown donned by the young monarch on the day she became Queen will be on show, as well as her 21-foot purple velvet, Ermine-trimmed Coronation Robe.
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Eye-catching jewels, crowns and dazzling diamonds worn by royals on the momentous day are also available to see, including the diamond Halo tiara worn by Princess Margaret and later loaned by the Queen to Kate Middleton for her wedding to Prince William that was watched by millions across the world in 2011.
Open to the public from Saturday, visitors will be able to re-live the ceremony – which took place 60 years ago – 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, as well as the plain white linen anointing dress worn by the Queen over her coronation dress, will be revealed for the first time in public.
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 of the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and the maids of honour, was behind the magnificent creation that resembled the Queen’s wedding dress and is encrusted with crystals, pearls and sequins.
Her robe, made of English purple silk-velvet, took members of the Royal School of Needlework an incredible 3,500 hours to embroider with 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 embroidery was being done every minute of the day.
Exhibition curator Caroline de Guitaut said: “I just admire the incredible craftsmanship and the design of Hartnell’s dresses, and 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.