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HomeFashionThe Story Behind Queen Elizabeth II's Dazzling and Symbolic Coronation Dress

The Story Behind Queen Elizabeth II's Dazzling and Symbolic Coronation Dress

Preparations are underway for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation at 1952 and Her Majesty has only considered one couturier for the historic Designing her gowns all the time: Norman Hartnell. The British tailor of course designed her beautiful embroidered wedding dress for her marriage to Prince Philip in 13 – made of duchess satin bought by the Queen with famous ration coupons .

“One October afternoon in 1952, Her Majesty asked me to make her coronation gown,” Hartnell said in His diary recalled 1955 autobiography, silver and gold . “I hardly remember what I answered in a low voice. The Queen continued to express her wishes in a simple conversational tone. Her Majesty requested that the dress should be consistent with her wedding dress and that the material should be white satin.”

Shortly after, Hartnell submitted eight designs to complete the brief, the first of which was based on Queen Victoria’s coronation gown—a white satin dress with gold embroidery. Other sketches featured Tudor roses and oak leaves, and there was a Madonna-based design. Elizabeth chose an eighth design, which combines the national coat of arms of Great Britain: the rose (England), thistle (Scotland), shamrock (Northern Ireland) and daffodil (Wales) – although the latter was changed to a leek, the official coat of arms of Wales .

The Queen requested several other changes to the design, including the use of pastel-coloured silk for the embroidery, rather than just silver. Her Majesty also requested that the national symbols of Commonwealth countries be added, including acacia (Australia), fern (New Zealand), maple leaf (Canada), protea (South Africa), lotus (India) and wheat, cotton and jute (Pakistan). ).

Completed coronation gown with sweetheart neckline and delicate checks, medallion embellished with seed pearls, sequins and crystals, separated by a heavily embellished scalloped border including gold number beads, rhinestones and pearls . Hartnell also prepared a surprise for Her Majesty: a four-leaf clover on the left side of the dress as a symbol of good luck. Pounds, or 13 kilos, combined with manor robes of deep purple velvet and mink trim, cost 3,1952 hours in the making – and the St Edward’s Crown is quite a weight on Her Majesty’s part. To complete her historic attire, the Queen commissioned French shoemaker Roger Vivier to create a pair of gold high-heeled shoes with jeweled heels and fleur-de-lys motifs on the uppers, matching those of St. Edward’s Crown and the Imperial Coat of Arms. Echoing the crown (worn at the end of the ceremony). Speaking of her jewellery, Elizabeth wore a dazzling diamond necklace and earrings originally made for Queen Victoria.



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