Queen Camilla, the wife of King Charles III, will don a new Robe of Estate for her procession back to Buckingham Palace after her coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6th. The garment, made by Ede and Ravenscroft, is designed with intricate embroidery featuring insects, favourite flowers, and national emblems of the United Kingdom.
The robe, made of rich purple velvet, will have a train and will match the King's own attire. The embroidery incorporates Queen Camilla's personal cypher, along with bees and a beetle, reflecting the couple's love for nature and the environment.
The Royal School of Needlework, experts in embroidery, has utilized the goldwork technique to hand embroider the plants that represent a special meaning to the Queen. The plants include Lily of the Valley, a favourite of the late Queen Elizabeth II, Myrtle, which symbolises hope, Delphinium, a favourite of the King, and the birth flower of July, when Camilla was born. Also included is one of Camilla's personal favourite plants, ‘Alchemilla Mollis,' known as Lady’s Mantle, which represents love and comfort.
The Maidenhair Fern, symbolizing purity, and cornflowers, which represent love and tenderness, are also represented in the embroidery. The shamrock, thistle, and rose, which are national emblems of the United Kingdom, have also been incorporated.
The King and Queen Consort will arrive at Westminster Abbey wearing the Robes of State and will depart in the Robes of Estate, which are traditionally more personalised in design. The crimson velvet Robe of State made for Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 will be worn by Queen Camilla to travel to the ceremony. It has been adjusted for her by robemakers at Ede and Ravenscroft.
The historic tailors, who have made garments for every British coronation since that of King William and Queen Mary in 1689, have conserved the gold lace and the lining of the King's Robe of State. The crimson velvet has been conserved by the Royal School of Needlework. The King's grandfather, King George VI, last wore the robe for his coronation in 1937. King Charles III will wear the purple silk velvet Robe of Estate made for his grandfather to depart the Abbey.
Queen Camilla became the patron of the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court, in 2017. The school previously worked on robes for the 1937 and 1953 coronations and more recently worked on the wedding dress of the Princess of Wales in 2011 and the wedding veil of the Duchess of Sussex in 2018.
In conclusion, the new Robe of Estate, worn by Queen Camilla after her coronation, is a beautifully designed garment embroidered with special flowers, insects, and emblems that have significant meaning to the Queen. The intricate embroidery is a testament to the skill and expertise of the Royal School of Needlework, who have also worked on previous royal garments.