A subtle tribute. Before Queen Consort Camilla is officially crowned during her husband King Charles III’s coronation, she will enter Westminster Abbey with a small piece of Queen Elizabeth II’s memory.
Camilla, 75, and Charles, 74, will follow tradition on their Saturday, May 6, coronation day, by each wearing two sets of robes during the service. Their respective Robes of State are worn on arrival to the cathedral, while the Robes of Estate are worn on departure and personalized in design.
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According to a Saturday, April 29, post on the royal family’s website, the queen consort will wear the Robe of State that was “originally made for” Elizabeth in 1953 for her own coronation. The stately robe is made of crimson-colored velvet that was conserved by Ede and Ravenscroft robemakers.
At the end of the service, Camilla will swap Elizabeth’s robe for a new Robe of Estate, which was crafted by Ede and Ravenscroft and hand-embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework, of which the Reading Room founder is patron. The Robe of Estate — which matches Charles’ in its rich purple hue — features themes of nature to represent the couple’s “affection for the natural world” and commitment to environmental issues.
Elizabeth ruled on the British throne for 70 years until her September 2022 death at the age of 96. Following the queen’s passing, eldest son Charles immediately assumed the throne with Camilla by his side.
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“I cannot begin without paying tribute to my dear mother-in-law, Her late Majesty, who is much in our thoughts today and who is so greatly missed by us all,” the former Duchess of Cornwall said during a November 2022 speech. “Throughout her remarkable reign, its vision to improve the lives and prospects of all Commonwealth citizens remained, as you know, very close to her heart.”
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Camilla continued at the time: “Over the past few months, my husband and I have drawn immense comfort from the messages of condolence that we have received, and continue to receive, from the four corners of the world. They have reminded us that the written word has a unique ability to connect, to heal, to reassure and to offer hope, even in the midst of grief.”
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Camilla and the king — who honored the queen’s legacy at her official state funeral that September — have been gearing up for their coronation next month now that they have ascended the throne. For the crowning ceremony, the former duchess is also expected to wear the Queen Mary’s Crown that once belonged to Elizabeth.
“The choice of Queen Mary’s crown by her majesty is the first time in recent history that an existing crown will be used for the coronation of a consort instead of a new commission being made, in the interests of sustainability and efficiency,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement earlier this year, noting that Camilla has modified the headpiece to incorporate Cullinan III, IV and V diamonds from the late queen’s personal collection.
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