The Another

    a king, two dresses and lots of family jewels – Liberation



    Poor King Charles. The mere description of the dress he must wear for his coronation makes us feel sorry for him. His panoply for the big day exudes a heaviness (literally and figuratively) from another age, an overwhelming munificence, contradictory to the wish for sobriety and relaxation he expressed for the occasion. As if tradition necessarily prevailed, even if it meant clashing with the self-portrait of the monarch with a crowned but enlightened head – fitting with the times, eco-responsible or even decreasing, at least in terms of splendor. And this paraphernalia definitely gives a carnival side to the affair, which we are in fact about to watch like the MET Gala (this American gathering where it is welcome to compete in flashy glam) a few days ago.

    gold, gold

    British media described the royal outfit in spades. THE Times teaches us that “the royal palace has opted for historical clothes already worn for the previous coronations of the kingdom. Charles III will notably wear an “Imperial Mantle” designed in 1821 […]. It was made in honor of George IV and then worn in turn by George V, George VI and Elizabeth II. […] “The imperial mantle is made of gold cloth, gold, silver and silk threads, silk, gold bullion fringes and a gold clasp. The cloth of gold is woven with roses, thistles, clovers, crowns, eagles and fleur-de-lis” according to the Crown. […] The king will wear a second coat with the “Supertunica”: a golden garment with long sleeves. […] These outfits are inspired by outfits used in the Middle Ages. To close this coat, the king will be adorned with the “Sword Belt”: a belt made in 1937. For his departure from Westminster, the king will wear a purple velvet and silk outfit, created by Ede for George VI.

    10 pounds

    By CBS News, which has interviewed Caroline De Guitaut, assistant curator of the king’s works of art, we obtain the following details: ‘The robes together weigh around 10 kilos and the King’s grandson Prince George, 9, will help carry them into Westminster Abbey when Charles walks to his throne for the coronation’; “The jeweled offering sword is fastened around the king’s waist using the sword girdle, before being removed again and placed on the altar. After the royal stole has been placed around the King’s neck by the Bishop of Durham, the Prince of Wales joins Baroness Merron and the assistant bishops to clothe Charles in the Royal Robe”; “After the orb and ring have been presented, Lord Singh of Wimbledon will present the King with the Coronation Glove which he will place on his right hand in preparation to hold the Sovereign’s Scepter, made of white kid leather, it is adorned with gold embroidery depicting the Tudor rose, thistle, clover, oak leaves and acorns. The back of the hand is embroidered with a ducal crown and the coat of arms of the Dukes of Newcastle family. The wrist is lined with red satin.

    flour sacks

    crown side, THE Guardian regales us with a squeaky article. “The coronation itself will use St Edward’s Crown, made in 1661 for Charles II and used by Queen Elizabeth II in her regalia – its familiar silhouette features on letterboxes across the country (and it is now available in the form of a £24 trinket at John Lewis). This headgear is inspired by an 11th century crown said to have been worn by Edward the Confessor – a claim presumably invented by the monks of Westminster Abbey to attract pilgrims. Their scheme worked and this crown was used in the coronation of all English monarchs for the next 400 years. […] It features heavy double arches in solid gold, fringed with gold beads and set with tourmalines, white and yellow topazes, rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnets, peridots, zircons, spinels and aquamarines, stepped cut, in rose and mounted in enamelled gold necklaces – all representing over 2 kg of glitter. “She weighs a ton,” the late queen once complained. According to Private Eye, Charles prepared by wearing sacks of flour on his head, wrapped in velvet and concealed inside a bowler hat. […] Either way, the king won’t have to wear Saint Edward’s crown for long. At some point, Charles will retire to St Edward’s Chapel and emerge like a made-up butterfly, wearing a regal crimson robe and a new headgear: the Imperial Crown of State. Weighing less than half the weight of St Edward’s crown, it is the more practical of the two, worn at the official opening of Parliament and other such ceremonies. The article also recalls that several former British colony countries claim some of the stones that adorn the crowns.

    No ermine but recycling

    vogue, for its part, informs us about the dress code asked the royal family and guests: “Charles deviated from the orthodox path to set a code of ‘standard business dress’ [standard «business attire», ndlr], asking guests to “dress more modestly” for the occasion. This dress code provides that the audience, and in particular the aristocracy, will wear clothing markedly different from that which the coronation would have required. Instead of ceremonial robes trimmed with ermine fur and tiaras, expect to see attendees […] in suits and coat dresses, rather than floor-sweeping coats.” OMG, not far from shocking…

    First interested, Camilla, the queen consort, will wear “Queen Mary’s crown, whose central diamond – the controversial Koh-i-Noor – was replaced for the ceremony, the headpiece is now set with the heart-cut Cullinan V diamond. It is the first time in British history that a Queen consort has again worn a crown for a coronation, instead of a commissioned piece. Representatives for Charles said the decision was made with “sustainability and efficiency” in mind. It has also been confirmed that Camilla will wear a piece by designer Bruce Oldfield, one of the late Princess Diana’s favourites, during the coronation. […] Camilla is also expected to wear the state dress, originally created for Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953.” We recycle, we recycle!

    Otherwise, it is Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales and number 1 glamorous asset of the kingdom, who should attract attention. “Speculation is rife […]especially if she chooses to wear a flower crown instead of a metal and diamond headpiece. […] Chances are Kate will choose one of her favorite British designers for the ceremony, such as Alexander McQueen, Jenny Packham or Emilia Wickstead, but the Princess of Wales could also opt for something entirely new.”


    For Page SixStyle, royal fashion expert Josh Birch Jones, who is the youngest member of the British Fashion Council, played the guesswork. According to him, Kate should opt for a coat-dress by British designer Catherine Walker, and for blue: “Royal blue, which supports the British flag, is bound to be a popular color for the coronation, so expect to see the royals choosing red, white and blue during the celebrations at come.” He also predicts that “The princess completes her outfit with a pair of royal blue Manolo Blahnik’s classic Hangisi heels and matching personalized Philip Treacy hat.” On the jewelry side, she could “possibly wearing pieces honoring the late Princess Diana or Queen Elizabeth, although she often opts for more casual jewelry from brands such as Zara.” But from Zara to coronation, that would be downright revolutionary.

    What about the boiling Harry, who will necessarily be scrutinized from every angle, he who never stops blowing up those of royal protocol? “While speculation is being made that Prince Harry may be denied the opportunity to wear the typical military uniform one would expect to see Prince William wear, I predict that we will see our Prince controversial in a custom suit from Saville Row designers Dege & Skinner,” says the expert, who believes that a “modest dark blue suit would be an appropriate choice for an inevitably turbulent return”. That the prince keep a low profile, plainly.


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