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How King Charles III Modernized His Coronation Outfit: Details

King Charles Puts His Own Twist on Coronation Outfit
King Charles III following a procession departing from Westminster Abbey James Veysey/Shutterstock

A modern monarch. King Charles III broke tradition with his coronation outfit on Saturday, May 6. 

Related: King Charles III’s Coronation: See Every Royal’s Outfit

After being crowned inside Westminster Abbey in London, the 74-year-old royal exited the church and headed back to Buckingham Palace. As he participated in the procession, spectators noticed that Charles had teamed his purple Robe of Estate — which was previously worn by his grandfather, King George VI — with tailored pants. In the past, newly crowned kings have donned silk stockings and breeches at the ceremony.

Charles’ decision to put his own twist on coronation attire marks his continued effort to make the monarchy more contemporary — which he has spent a lifetime thinking about. 

“I’ve had this extraordinary feeling, for years and years, ever since I can remember really, of wanting to heal and make things better,” he revealed in a 2013 Time cover story. “I feel more than anything else it’s my duty to worry about everybody and their lives in this country, to try to find a way of improving things if I possibly can.”

Earlier during the event, however, Charles did honor his heritage. In addition to kicking off the big day in the Robe of State, the king was seen in the Supertunica — a sleeved gold coat that both George VI and Charles late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, wore during their own crowning ceremonies. Atop the Supertunica, Charles layered with the Imperial Mantle — a metallic covering that was equipped with gold, silver and silk thread. The garment was originally created for King George IV’s 1821 coronation. Charles further accessorized with the Coronation Sword Belt and the Coronation Glove. 

Related: King Charles III’s Coronation: See All the Fashion Nods to Queen Elizabeth II

The Coronation Glove was especially significant as Charles opted to wear the same one his grandfather sported instead of having a new one made. The piece is designed with embroidery that depicts he national emblem of Tudor Rose. 

Charles was crowned alongside his wife, Queen Camilla. The couple received their new titles following the death of Elizabeth in September 2022. 

Like the king, Camilla’s coronation ensemble was significant and historical. The 75-year-old royal arrived at Westminster Abbey wearing Elizabeth’s Robe of State. Underneath, she sported a white dress by Bruce Oldfield that featured lily of the valley flowers, which were used in Elizabeth’s own coronation bouquet. 

Related: King Charles III’s Symbolic and Historical Coronation Robes: Everything to Know

The most standout aspect of Camilla’s coronation ensemble was perhaps her dazzling diamond necklace. Called the Coronation Necklace, the sparkler was originally made for Queen Victoria in 1858 and includes 26 diamonds and a giant 22-carat pendant called the Lahore diamond. Queen Alexandra was the first to wear the necklace in a coronation ceremony and Elizabeth selected the piece as her primary jewelry for her coronation celebration in 1953. 

Following the Saturday pomp and circumstance, Camilla left the venue in the Robe of Estate and Queen Mary’s Crown. Together, Camilla and Charles waved to U.K. citizens from the balcony of Buckingham Palace moments with other working members of the royal family. 

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