Coronation: King to be dressed in floor length golden robes worn by late Queen at ceremony

·2-min read

King Charles will be momentarily dressed in two separate golden robes worn by previous monarchs at his coronation.

During the crowning part of the service, King will first wear the supertunica, a long gold-sleeved coat with floral emblems weighing 2kg. It will be worn over a sleeveless white garment called the colobium sindonis.

The coat was made for his great-grandfather King George V in 1911, and worn by the late Queen.

Prince William will then place the imperial mantle - a floor-length cloak created for King George IV more than 200 years ago - on his father. This is meant to represent the historic divine right of kings.

This royal robe weighs about 3-4kg and added to the royal load is the 2.2kg St Edward's Crown.

Usually kept in the Tower of London, it will be worn by the King for less than an hour before being stored away for the next coronation ceremony.

One difference when compared with previous coronations is that the King has chosen to wear the same sword belt and glove worn by his grandfather, King George VI, instead of receiving new versions.

Deputy surveyor of the King's works of art for the Royal Collection Trust, Caroline de Guitaut, said while this was "unusual" in the modern day, the decision stems from his "sustainability and efficiency".

The belt, also known as the coronation girdle, is made of embroidered cloth of gold and has a gold buckle stamped with national emblems.

Read more:
A moment-by-moment guide to everything in the coronation ceremony
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The glove will be placed on Charles' right hand and it is a demonstration of the sovereign as advocate and challenger for the protection and honour of the people.

It also bears a second meaning, as a reminder of holding power, symbolised in the sovereign's sceptre with cross, gently in his gloved hand.

The King will also receive a Stole Royal - otherwise known as a golden priestly scarf.

He will arrive in Westminster Abbey on 6 May wearing King George VI's crimson robe of state while the Queen Consort will wear Queen Elizabeth II's crimson robe of state.

He will remove this, sit in the coronation chair, and wear a simple white shirt, representing that he comes before God as a servant - then the anointing with holy oil will take place in private.

The golden procession of robes follows this religious act. At the end of the coronation, the King will don his purple robe of estate and put on the imperial state crown.

The order of vestments the King will wear at the coronation is as follows:

  • The robe of state

  • The simple shirt during anointing

  • The colobium sindonis

  • The supertunica

  • The coronation girdle

  • The stole royal

  • The imperial mantle

  • The robe of estate