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Gold and embroidery, the ceremonial garments for the coronation of King Charles III



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King Charles III attending The Prince's Foundation x Yoox Net-a-Porter presentation. Image: Yoox Net-a-Porter

London - At his coronation in London on Saturday, Charles III will wear the heavy golden robes of his ancestors, inspired by religious dress and intended to evoke a divine regal quality.

Most of the garments were already worn by Charles III's grandfather, George VI, at his coronation in 1937, and by his great-grandfather, George V, in 1911.

Although it is customary to reuse some of these historic garments, the King will also wear others from previous coronations "in the interests of durability and efficiency", Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

These are the garments the monarch will wear during the ceremony, in order of appearance.

Robe of State

The robe of state, a long embroidered velvet cloak, is worn by the monarch as he arrives at Westminster Abbey. Charles will wear the one made by George VI, in crimson velvet.

The lining and lace of this garment were preserved until the coronation by Ede and Ravenscroft, the oldest tailor's shop in London, which has made clothes for every coronation since that of King William III and Queen Mary II in 1689.

White linen shirt

The monarch will wear a simple white linen shirt for his anointing with holy oil.

Colombium sindonis

The Latin term "colombium sindonis" refers to a garment worn after the anointing. It is a sleeveless white linen tunic with a simple collar closed by a single button. It was worn by King George VI.


The 'supertunica' or supertunic, is a long-sleeved silk tunic, embroidered with gold, which is worn after the anointing ceremony.

The garment was made for King George V and was also worn by George VI and Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. It weighs about two kilos.

Its style has changed little since medieval times and is inspired by religious dress. The silk is woven with fine pieces of gold.

Coronation belt

Also manufactured in 1937, the 'coronation sword belt' is made of cloth embroidered in gold and has a gold clasp. It is worn around the monarch's waist, over the 'supertunic'.

The belt buckle is emblazoned with the national emblems. Its clasp is used to hold the 'offering sword', which is supposed to protect the good and punish evil.

Royal stole

The long, narrow, gold-embroidered silk stole is draped over the monarch's shoulders. It is similar to the stoles worn by priests or bishops.

Imperial robe

Along with the ‘supertunic’, the imperial robe is the other impressive coronation garment.

This long, floor-length cloak is worn over the supertunic.

It was made for the coronation of George IV in 1821 and will be the oldest garment worn at Saturday's ceremony.

It is made of gilt cloth woven with coloured threads. It fastens at the chest with a gold clasp depicting an eagle.

The motifs on the mantle are red roses, blue thistles, green clovers, fleur-de-lis and eagles. It weighs between three and four kilos.

William, King Charles' eldest son and heir to the throne, will assist his father in putting on the mantle.

Coronation glove

The monarch will wear this unique white leather glove on his right hand, with which he will hold the sovereign's sceptre and cross during the ceremony.

This glove was made for King George VI. The cuff is embroidered with national emblems such as roses, shamrocks, thistles and acorns in gold metallic thread.

Ball gowns

The gala robes, which crowned monarchs wear when leaving the abbey, are more personal than the state robes they wear when entering the church.

Charles III will wear the purple silk velvet gown with gold embroidery that belonged to his grandfather George VI.(AFP)

This article was previously published on FashionUnited.ES and has been translated and edited into English by Veerle Versteeg.

King Charles