To the supreme disappointment of many royal watchers, it seems that King Charles may be sticking with a “formal day dress” for those attending his coronation. This is in stark contrast to his mother’s Coronation in 1953, where all the peers of the realm were dressed up in their finest and the women were all glittering in diamonds and tiaras.
His Majesty has been clear in his desire for a more dressed down Coronation, which would include a much smaller crowd of 2,000 compared to his mother’s 8,000 and have a much shorter procession. Given the difficult economic times, this makes sense, and yet it is also rather disappointing.
As always, the great fun of royal watching is seeing the women all decked out in their finest, with their most impressive tiaras on display. Most of the time, these pieces just sit in nondescript boxes collecting dust in a vault. Just seeing the women in formal day dress, which is akin to the dress code for the three royal weddings we’ve seen in the last couple of years, would seem a bit disappointing compared to the drama of the Queen’s just seventy years ago.
But it also fits with the Brits, one of the stingier royal families when it comes to showing off their impressive tiara collection, so it does seem par for the course.
It does follow the pattern of some of the royal coronations in Europe, though the U.K. is the only country that still includes a religious and eucharist aspects in the ceremony. The most grand in recent years was the inauguration (yes, that is what it’s called) of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, which featured his wife Queen Maxima in the lower version of the Dutch Sapphire Parure Tiara. The royal guests attended in formal day wear for the inauguration itself, but they also had a tiara event for the other royals attending the day before the ceremony.
However, Willem-Alexander’s event makes the rest look like only casual affairs. King Felipe and Queen Letizia’s coronation featured no tiaras or prominent jewelry, same as King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians. As both of those ascensions were born from the scandal of the previous kings, that could be some of the reason.
King Charles III will still have a grander ceremony than the rest, with the solid gold and massively heavy St. Edward’s Crown and the Imperial State Sceptre and Crown both featuring prominently (with their massive diamonds in tow). To make sure her husband doesn’t outdoing her, Queen Camilla will be wearing Queen Mary’s Crown with the Cullinan III and IV diamonds.
When it comes to the Prince and Princess of Wales, one can only hope that they are not caught up in the daytime dress attire. As the future King and Queen, Prince William and Catherine should play a prominent role at the event, and, perhaps, be the sole other couple wearing a tiara and fine jewelry. If they are relegated to the same dress code as everyone else, they may just blend into the crowd, and that isn’t a useful image for the monarchy.
Not being seen as too ostentatious is important, but so is looking the part. If the Coronation is a rather bland affair, then what’s the point? Pageantry and majesty is what people want from coronations, not a pared down affair. Those looking to cut back need to make sure that they aren’t cutting away too much of what makes royals, well, royals. We all know they have tiaras, better to display them than keep placate republicans.
One thought on “Growing Reports Dress Code for Coronation Will Be ‘Formal Day Dress’”
Totally agree, Brittany! 👍💯
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