New regal Robe of Estate made for Camilla to wear at coronation

A brand new Robe of Estate has been made for the Queen Consort to wear at her coronation.

The rich purple velvet robe is embroidered in goldwork threads, and intricately decorated with bees, a beetle and a host of flowers – drawing on the themes of nature and the environment.

It pays tribute to the King by incorporating delphiniums – one of his favourite flowers which is also Camilla’s birth month flower – and in memory of Elizabeth II includes the late Queen’s favourite bloom, lily of the valley.

Sewer at the Royal School of Needlework working on the Queen Consort’s new Robe of Estate (PA)
Sewer at the Royal School of Needlework working on the Queen Consort’s new Robe of Estate (PA)

Camilla will wear the grand garment – which also includes her cypher – after her crowning for her departure from Westminster Abbey.

In keeping with tradition, Charles and Camilla will wear two different robes each – crimson Robes of State on arrival and purple Robes of Estate as they leave at the end of the service.

The King will wear his grandfather George VI’s Robes of State and Estate from the 1937 coronation, which are nearly 90 years old and have been conserved and prepared for the occasion.

Coronation of King George VI – London
King George VI in 1937 wearing the Robe of Estate Charles will wear (PA)

Camilla will wear the late Queen’s crimson Robe of State which was made for Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, which has been conserved with adjustments, and has a train of 5.5 metres.

Camilla’s new Robe of Estate has been designed in purple velvet to match the King’s and hand embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework, of which Camilla is patron.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “For the first time, insects including bees and a beetle feature on the Coronation Robe, drawing on the themes of nature and the environment and reflecting their Majesties’ affection for the natural world.”

State Opening of Parliament
Queen Elizabeth II in her Robe of State which Camilla will wear (Alastair Grant/PA)

It also features national emblems – the rose, thistle and shamrock.

Also there is myrtle, representing hope; alchemilla mollis known as lady’s mantle, which symbolises love and comfort; maidenhair fern, which symbolises purity; and cornflowers, which represent love and tenderness and are known to attract and encourage wildlife such as bees and butterflies.

Conservation work on George VI's Robe of State which will be worn by the King
Conservation work on George VI’s Robe of State which will be worn by the King (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Only glimpses of the robe have been shown in newly released images, with the full ensemble set to be unveiled on the big day.

It is not known how long the train is or how much the robe cost to make.

Elizabeth II’s purple Robe of Estate was more than seven metres in length and decorated with a border of wheat ears and olive branches, symbolising peace and plenty, and trimmed with ermine.

The Royal Robe of Estate
The late Queen’s Coronation Dress and Robe of Estate (Matthew Fearn/PA)

Conservation work on the King’s Robe of State has seen the Royal School of Needlework work on the crimson velvet and the robemakers Ede & Ravenscroft work on the lining and gold lace.

Ede & Ravenscroft, renowned for being London’s oldest tailor, has a robemaking and tailoring heritage which stretches back more than 330 years, having made garments for every British coronation since King William and Queen Mary’s in 1689.