Publicly, palace officials will tell you, it’s all about the royal bundle of joy. Privately, it’s still all about the Queen. A limited-edition art book from Taschen, Her Majesty the Queen, is just the beginning.
Actually, not even near the beginning. Nor will a new exhibit on the Queen’s robes from her coronation in 1953 be the end. Opening over the weekend in Buckingham Palace (yeah, in the palace), the show features the Queen’s purple velvet Robe of Estate and her gown, embellished with sequins, pearls, crystals, and 18 kinds of gold thread, taking thousands of hours to finish.
And it isn’t just what Queen Elizabeth wore in 1953, but the outfits worn by her mother, aka the Queen Mother, as well as Princess Margaret, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Prince Charles and Princess Anne, who were, respectively, four and two years old at the time. In all, this is the largest exhibition of the royal garb ever shown.
Then there is the diamond diadem the Queen wore on that day in Westminster Abbey. For those unfamiliar with royal vernacular, a diadem is like a crown or a tiara. This super posh one she donned was passed down to her from George IV, who wore it on his coronation day in 1821.
Of course, these are the accoutrements the infant prince and future king will wear on his coronation day. And that’s the point. It is never not about a reigning royal.
The Queen’s Coronation 1953, State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, July 27 – September 29, 2013