Monday 8 May 2023

The Coronation Portraits of King Charles III & Queen Camilla

In fitting form, the Coronation weekend drew to a close with the release of four official portraits marking a historic day. Below, Left to right: The Duke of Kent, the Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Gloucester, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Princess Royal, King Charles III, Queen Camilla, the Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, the Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Below, King Charles III photographed in the Throne Room holding the Sovereign's Orb and Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross. Sitting in a 1902 throne chair (one of a pair) that were made for his great-grandparents the future King George V and Queen Mary for use at the coronation of King Edward VII. The King is wearing the Imperial State Crown. 

The portraits were accompanied with a special message of gratitude from the King: "As the Coronation weekend draws to a close, my wife and I just wanted to share our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped to make this such a special occasion. We pay particular tribute to the countless people who have given their time and dedication to ensuring that the celebrations in London, Windsor and further afield were as happy, safe and enjoyable as possible". Charles continued: "To those who joined in the celebrations - whether at home, at street parties and lunches, or by volunteering in communities - we thank you, each and every one. To know that we have your support and encouragement, and to witness your kindness expressed in so many different ways, has been the greatest possible Coronation gift, as we now rededicate our lives to serving the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and Commonwealth".

Below, a portrait of Queen Camilla in the Green Drawing Room wearing Queen Mary's crown and her majestic Bruce Oldfield gown.

The portraits answered an important question concerning Kate's look. The Princess was indeed wearing the Queen's Diamond Festoon necklace. The piece was commissioned in 1950 by King George VI for his beloved daughter Princess Elizabeth and was worn by the late monarch throughout her reign. Kate also wore her Royal Family Order and Royal Victorian Order regalia. Kate wore Princess Diana's diamond and pearl earrings and her Jess Collett floral headpiece. With one mystery solved another begins. It appears the Princess wore a different gown (most likely another very similar McQueen with many of the same design elements)

You'll notice the difference in the neckline below. It's been suggested Kate may have worn a delicate cape, however there is nothing in available imagery to suggest a cape was worn and the fabric appears to be different. The one below has a shinier texture. I do understand the dress code and tiara debacle was a long one and royal ladies were not 100% clear on sartorial requirements until very late in the planning. It could account for a decision to have two dresses. One to accommodate the robes, another to showcase the necklace with a potential tiara.

There's notable similarities between the portrait gown and the midnight navy McQueen dress Kate wore for the 2019 Diplomatic Reception. 

High society photographer Hugo Burnand was selected to take the photos. Born in Cannes, his early years were marked by the tragic death of his mother. As he grew into adulthood, his step-mother encouraged his talent for photography. Beginning his career at society bible Tatler, one of his most memorable photos was of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her husband. He would later recall asking the couple to holds hands for their golden anniversary shots. After reluctantly agreeing to do so, the PM remarked curtly, "That's enough of that."

Back in 2005, Burnand was emailed by the then Camilla Parker Bowles to enquire if he was available to cover a "big date". Hugo subsequently cut-short a six month holiday in South America (where all his equipment had been stolen) and became the official photographer for the royal wedding. Six years later, he took the official photos for William and Kate's wedding. It very much felt like a full circle moment today.

Embed from Getty Images

The photographer spoke to The Telegraph ahead of the experience:

'So, as well as taking the photograph that will be hung on walls around the world (“Now you’re making me nervous”), he’ll also be photographing the King with his nearest and dearest? “We are doing historical documents and then other stuff. But I don’t want to give away too much.”

If the father-of-four is feeling daunted by the scale of it all, he certainly isn’t showing it. “Is it intimidating? No it’s not,” he insists. “And I don’t mean that arrogantly. Because I’ve worked with them for quite a long time, there’s been a gestation period. These are people who I’m familiar with and I like and who trust me.'

The commission was altogether more harmonious than that of the Queen's Coronation portraits in 1953. 

As the nation waited excitedly for the Coronation of the young Queen Elizabeth II, among oceans of preparations lay the very important question of who might take the official photographs. The Queen Mother wasted no time in acting and making quite clear her preference for Cecil Beaton over the Duke of Edinburgh's close friend Baron. The Queen Mother was victorious. In his diaries Beaton recalled his feeling of elation upon hearing the news: "Have been wondering if my day as photographer at the Palace is over. Baron, a most unexpected friend of Prince Philip’s, has been taking all the recent pictures, so the call saying the Queen wanted me to do her personal Coronation photographs comes as an enormous relief." Beaton later noted on the day Philip "stood by making wry jokes, his lips pursed in a smile that put the fear of God into me". Regardless of a touch of drama behind-the-scenes the photos took their place in history and continue to be used far and wide to this day. 

The Throne Room offered a majestic backdrop for the images. 

More from Buckingham Palace: 

"The Throne Room at Buckingham Palace summons up the history and pageantry associated with the working Monarchy like no other space in the building. Over the past two centuries, the room has had many uses: from the setting for spectacular balls in the reign of Queen Victoria to Investitures held by King George V. Today it is a place where people from all walks of life are invited to celebrate success in many different areas of national life, and where members of the Royal Family host occasions for the general public and international political figures as well as their own personal special occasions".

To offer a sense of its history, a look at the Throne Room, looking towards the Green Drawing Room, in 1873 - 150 years ago. 


If you're just joining us, please click here to catch up on a busy day for William, Kate, George, Charlotte and Louis in Slough for The Big Help Out. The Princess wore a Really Wild denim shirt, G-Star pants and Blundstone boots


I suspect there's a good chance we'll see William and Kate for the second Coronation garden party tomorrow afternoon at Buckingham Palace.

85 comments:

  1. I don't think she has two different dresses but maybe some detachable piece

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    1. That's what I think too. A small cape or something for warmth and a smoother neckline under the robes. The distinctive shoulder pads of the dress are visible under the blue robes.And it doesn't appear they had time to change outfits.

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    2. Agreed, they appear to be identical (look at the sleeves and the hem) except for the neckline - perhaps she had a little cape on top like Charlotte?

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    3. She definitely had a matching cape over the dress - like Charlotte's. It's the exact same dress.

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    4. Agree, think she had a short caplet over it. Possibly for the neckline to work better with the robe. ali

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    5. Charlotte is right. She likely had m two identical dresses made with different necklines. I have seen the picture mentioned by a commenter below of Kate arriving at the Abbey and her arm outstretched exposing more of the dress. There is no cape, capelet or other layered piece to be seen.

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  2. Oh WOW... After seeing The Princess of Wales wearing the necklace, I need a drink before I look again. WOW. SπŸ™‚.

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  3. That means that she wore another dress under the cape and another at the photograph?? Thanks!!!!

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  4. I’m so confused. Kate had two entirely different white gowns, with similar elements, commissioned for Coronation Day? Normally, I don’t jump on the “wasteful wardrobe extravagance” bandwagon, but this seems crazy.

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    1. Hi Zipzippippy, happy Coronation weekend! I’m actually incredibly impressed that our beautiful Princess has used the foundation of one glorious dress, and created 2 stunningly exquisite looks. This dress is masterful, with what appears to be a detachable cape for her first look, and then for her 2nd look, she transformed her gown by removing it, creating a magical vision for the official portraits. I adore the styling of both of these timeless looks, and I feel pretty sure that our wonderful Princess has not been wasteful or extravagant. I’m so thrilled to see how she has kept Queen Elizabeth close to her heart, by wearing her magnificent diamond necklace. She is the epitome of grace, kindness & compassion. William must be so very proud of her. Take care, and love to you all from Australia x πŸ’•πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ΊπŸ’•

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  5. I don't believe the Princess had two different dresses, a small addition cape, or detached piece for warmth. These photos are outstanding.
    The Princess of Wales looks superb, elegant and regal.

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    1. Some kind of drape seems more palatable than there being two entirely different dresses, but I wouldn’t think warmth or modesty would be the reason to opt for an extra layer. The dress, as pictured in the group shot, seems like it provided quite a bit of coverage, and she was also wearing that royal blue cape on top of her gown. If anything, I thought it looked like she might be uncomfortably covered up during the service. Yes, I know it’s an old drafty abbey, but 2,000 people in a confined space can make it quite warm.

      Assuming there was a drape involved, I’m going to go with the that she liked the look of the embroidered fabric white neckline with the blue and red cape, and wanted to showcase the necklace when she removed the drape at BP after the ceremony.

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    2. wishiwereinlondon9 May 2023 at 06:42

      I also think there was an embroidered deep collar piece overlaid on the dress that only extended to the top of the bust, because of the cape and regalia.

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  6. Happy to see the pics but the lighting and the focus seem off—they are so fuzzy.

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  7. Thank you very much Charlotte for your wonderful work. I watched the coronation and checked your blog simultaneously. What a wonderful weekend! Catherine was divine. Hope to see her tomorrow during the garden party and also on Wednesday. I think that as the Princess of Wales she should attend the Opening of the Parliament. And it’s always been a tiara event.
    Iva

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  8. Definitely the same gown with a small cape or cover of some kind. The embellishments on the dress are exact in all the photos. Thanks for all of your coverage, Charlotte..it was wonderfully done.

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    1. Agree, the embellishments at the hem are identical. And a cape on top explains why the necklace wasn't visible.

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  9. I think same dress with a cape. (I hope the same dress with a cape.)

    Very sweet how Sophie and Edward are helping Princess Alexandra in the photo. Initially I couldn't figure out why Ed wasn't by Sophie, but it is sweet.

    I had expected new KC Royal Family Orders for the coronation. But maybe he wants QC to be the first to wear. Or maybe he wants to limit who all gets one, so waiting until some others may retire, like Alexandra.

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  10. Are these high resolution photos? When I zoom-in they are so fuzzy.

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    1. They are indeed high-res. I was hoping to get close ups of the Princess. So far, the quality of images available has not been sufficient for that.

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    2. Thanks Charlotte, looking forward to seeing them. S.πŸ™‚.

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  11. I think all the Royal ladies looked amazing. The Queen looks beautiful and much more relaxed. Sophie always looks good. Maybe pearl earrings would be better with the white dress. Catherine is radiant. The dress is beautiful with the head dress. The detail is beautiful and I'm sure she will wear this again. She will need to build up her selection of white dresses for the state opening of parliament. The earrings work really well with the head dress but I think something else would look better with this necklace. Queen Elizabeth's smaller diamond drops , also worn by Diana would work well or even the large Grenville drop earrings. I'm very happy to see her wearing this necklace. It's a beautiful piece and looks stunning on the Princess. I just hope it has been set aside for her future use. S.πŸ™‚.

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  12. Sarah from California8 May 2023 at 19:28

    Wonderful photographs! It is great to be able to see Camilla and Kate's dress.

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  13. I thought cape, but I went searching and there is a picture of Catherine either arriving or departing, walking under an umbrella where she is facing forward with her left arm out. Because it is pulling the robes away from her body, the top and side of the gown is more visible and there is nothing layered. It's smooth up to the neckline, suggesting two separate gowns.

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  14. Allison in US8 May 2023 at 19:47

    I meant to add earlier that I think "Lou Bug" is going to be his life-long nickname. It's really adorable!

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  15. I love getting to see more of Kate's dress and, of course, the necklace. My initial impression of the photos was favourable but the more I looked, the more I started to doubt that these are as good as they could be. In the photo by himself, Charles looks like he's got a belly where the purple tunic is crumpled. That photo is not a patch on the one of QEII that Charlotte included in her post. In the group photo, the King and Queen are off centre and it feels strange to have Tim on the top step and the Princess of Wales a step down. I don't think it was very elegant to show how obviously Sophie and Edward were propping up Princess Alexandra (although I liked her inclusion, I think she needed to be sat down). I think a photo with the Wales children would have been nice. All in all, I'm a little disappointed. I prefer the one taken by Jackson, I think, of the King and Queen on the balcony with the trails of coloured smoke. I did really like Charles's statement, bringing the weekend to a close. To conclude it was a very good coronation, a lovely balance of tradition and personal informality.

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    1. Yes to all that and couldn't someone have centered QC's necklace so that it fell correctly? The camera seems so far away for the group shot too--I have seen better amateur pics from family reunions.

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    2. In My Opinion8 May 2023 at 21:47

      I agree with ABCD's observations. I imagine that there are other photos, probably including one that I'd really like to see of King Charles, William, and George.

      Presumably, hundreds of pictures were taken and they couldn't all be prepared and cropped and presented in just one busy weekend. I suspect that the King would want to have the option of choosing which pictures to release to the public as being the historical record of his coronation forevermore. He will probably be shown an assortment of pictures that the photographer considers to be the best. That takes time.

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    3. So it sounds like I wasn’t the only one who noticed the imbalanced group photo! The K & Q are not posed in the middle of the step so they aren’t centered against the draping behind the group.

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    4. I totally agree. Very disappointed in the photos. The onevof Charles in the chair is awful. He seems slumped in the chair, his purple tunic is frumpled at the bottom, his robe is not nicely draped over the arm of the chair and his warm smile is missing. He does not look regal as he is. And I thing having Princess Alexander seated would have been better because having her being propped up accentuates the big problem of an older of age working royals group to whom the new generations can not relate that easily.

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  16. Oddly, the photographs prompt me to feel that KC is a stop gap between QEII and a modern monarchy. It's a new feeling, but I do hope he relinquishes the crown in 10 years or less The world needs the freshness of P&POW. Provide a few years for the children to mature and then make a hand-off when William is nearing late 40s. The energy and hope expressed in QEII coronation photo is lacking in any of KC's. The weeks magic was not their magesties it was the hope of the future in W&C. The photos just appear empty....with the exception of the Wales, Princess Alexandra (her face is adorable) and the Sophie & Edward.

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    1. Thank you: This is what I've been trying to figure out all weekend. It is the hope and energy that feels off. I know it's been a whirlwind but KC3 looked exhausted and almost seemed dismayed at the coronation. It's been unsettling all weekend. I do love Kate's dress and intricate headband. Maybe we'll see all the POW family in their Christmas card.

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    2. Jac/Canada - thank you for this comment because I was thinking the exact same thing and didn’t know quite how to put it. Charles (and to an extent, Camilla, William, and Kate) all looked tense and exhausted at the coronation. Even on the balcony, everyone just seemed tired and annoyed. I found the whole thing to be very unsettling.

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    3. I’m an American, so not my fight, but looking at these pictures was very jarring. Capes and fur and staffs and sashes and crowns and medals and ropes…it just seems comical. If I didn’t know who these people were and saw these pictures, I would think it was out of a movie about the renaissance era. It’s very hard to fit this into 2023.

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    4. Cara, Australia9 May 2023 at 09:41

      My interpretation of the vibe and look of Charles was that he was incredibly moved and emotional while trying to keep his emotions in check - trying to keep it all in. On several occasions, he looked close to tears. It was a truly solemn and religious occasion, and a profound one for Charles and Camilla. Particulary for Charles - don't forget he holds this position because of the death of his mother and she hasn't been gone a year. The rest of the family were positively jovial compared to previous occasions at Westminster Abbey. Particulary Princess Anne.

      @Lauren - there's a deep and interesting history behind the capes, fur, staffs, sashes, crowns, medals and ropes. A history going back over 1100 years. Worth reading up about as these items are symbolic of a culture and the evolution of a way of life deeply entrenched in the British culture and history. As with many ceremonial items, over time they become symbolic and represent an aspect of the monarchy. Remember, at the heart of it, the coronation is a mass and many of these items hold religious symbolism too. Fascinating stuff!

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    5. Cara, Australia9 May 2023 at 09:41

      My interpretation of the vibe and look of Charles was that he was incredibly moved and emotional while trying to keep his emotions in check - trying to keep it all in. On several occasions, he looked close to tears. It was a truly solemn and religious occasion, and a profound one for Charles and Camilla. Particulary for Charles - don't forget he holds this position because of the death of his mother and she hasn't been gone a year. The rest of the family were positively jovial compared to previous occasions at Westminster Abbey. Particulary Princess Anne.

      @Lauren - there's a deep and interesting history behind the capes, fur, staffs, sashes, crowns, medals and ropes. A history going back over 1100 years. Worth reading up about as these items are symbolic of a culture and the evolution of a way of life deeply entrenched in the British culture and history. As with many ceremonial items, over time they become symbolic and represent an aspect of the monarchy. Remember, at the heart of it, the coronation is a mass and many of these items hold religious symbolism too. Fascinating stuff!

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    6. Cara, Thank you for sharing your take & it is my take too. Imagine waiting for something for 70 yrs & thinking you know how it will feel & then it happens & you are flooded with all sorts of emotions that you hadn't expected... including the bittersweet reality, that you are only there because your Mama no longer is..... One can feel happy, sad, grateful, humble & reverent all at the same time..... I was watching the documentary about Charles, "The Making of a Monarch" & he said that he was quite an emotional person. He is known to also be very serious & spiritual. I can only imagine that he would have been quite overwhelmed by all that he was feeling. Just my take.

      Also, I think the pictures & their composition is just right.... honest to the moment in time.

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  17. Thank You Charlotte for your outstanding work this weekend- so many excellent researched posts! Catherine looked beautiful during the whole event. It is wonderful to see her dress with the beautiful embroidery now. I like that Catherine follows her style and what she feels is good for her. This is translated in her coronation outfits. She stays loyal to her looks, intentions and designers. I personally do not like the neckline of the dress with her small figure. Also I feel that the beautiful floral tiara should be a real one. I understand the intention of being decent and modern but this headband is more glitter than a tiara would be without the historic and regal character of a tiara. I personally like the leaf motive and headbands or costume tiaras with this antique goddess vibes but for different occasions than a coronation. Here it is too much like a costume and a bit “cheap”. I have a different taste but I respect her choices and I think she always looks very beautiful.
    The sad thing about this group portrait is - and I am sorry to say this - the younger generations of working royals are really missing. It is what it is now. But from a distance and without being youth obsessed this looks a bit disbalanced and not really directed towards a bright future.

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    1. You are right. Only four people in the group photo are under the age of 70. S.πŸ™‚.

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  18. It's definitely the same dress. I found a very good picture of the Princess holding up her dress as she walked into the abbey. You can see the details very clearly. S.πŸ™‚.

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  19. Finally, the mystery of the necklace is somewhat solved! I kept reading article after article about Kate wearing the necklace and yet I saw no necklace. An article from Vogue even went so far as to comment on it being the real showstopper in terms of jewelry. What?! All I could think was that the article (and many others) was written before the actual event because there was not a single picture that featured a view of said "show-stopping" necklace.

    If there was indeed a change of dress, I wish the ladies could have changed into tiaras for the picture as well. I think the necklace would have looked better with a real tiara instead of a pretend one (as pretty as the embroidery headpiece was).

    An argument could be made that using tiaras already in their possession, instead of making a new one, could have been viewed as being sustainable. If I am honest, I don't really care what the reasons were for not bringing out the jewels were, I just like seeing the bling. We know they have it, at least give us all the pleasure of seeing and enjoying it too. I have no desire to own a tiara or wear one, but I sure do like seeing the royals wear them. They are just so pretty!

    I wonder if the decision to not have Catherine wear a crown, may have had more to do with her not upstaging Charles or Camilla. Catherine probably didn't mind not wearing a tiara because it has been said that they are not very comfortable to wear and she doesn't seem to be the fussy type.

    Despite all my long musings here, I do think everyone looked very nice, even if I personally wanted to see more sparklies.

    Thanks again for all of your great posts!

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    1. Agree. The palace announced in advance that she would be wearing the necklace. S.πŸ™‚.

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  20. Brilliant! Absolutely Brilliant! Every one of the photos is absolutely perfect, in composition & messaging. The genuine joy of the day & within each of them, truly shines through!

    Both of Kate's dresses are gorgeous! I'm sure there's a story there! But will we ever know what it is.... that is the question! :) xoxo

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    1. I disagree that the photos are perfect in composition. Do read what ABCD (May 8. 19:53, says above). There were several glaring errors in the composition. M.

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    2. Thanks Anon 1:13, I did & I still feel the same way. We all see different things & have different opinions... that's what makes the world go round!:)

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    3. I must add that I'm was a professional photographer for years, before I got back into Film Production & I favored candid photography.... I think that's what I like about these photos.... the imperfections capture something special & unique about the day & this moment in time. Just my 2 cents. :)

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    4. I agree, Becca! I like the portraits and don't feel like criticizing the flaws in them :) Zora from Prague

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  21. I think that most of the "official" photos of big royal events must be taken so fast that they aren't really as polished as one would want them to be. I mean, look at QC dress in the big group shot - it is all messed up on the bottom. Like how we had baptism photos with QEII's black purse under the chair, etc.

    I also generally think that the ordering in these photos also is a bit odd a lot of times. This one is no exception. Look back at other examples of family coronation pictures, you have people just sort of stuck all over.

    And I still think cape, just one one without sleeves. (I mean, the cost of a second dress, seems so unnecessary.)

    And I'm hoping for a Wales family photo - maybe for Christmas card?

    And I doubt that we will see these dresses worn again. They will be saved for future exhibits and things, or at least that is what I'm thinking.

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    1. I didn't think of that point about the dresses not being worn again. Queen Elizabeth did wear her coronation dress six times. S.πŸ™‚.

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  22. Hello, I enjoyed all of your coverage, Charlotte, thanks so very much. I'm in the "Catherine wore two dresses camp", lol. There could be many reasons, I'm sure, but I ultimately decided I am not concerned about what these reasons may be, but it has been fun to look at the photos to try to solve the mystery. I thought everyone looked their best. Catherine and Charlotte's headpieces were simply beautiful.

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  23. I'm curious why all the women wear white? I don't think I have seen it mentioned in any of the previous postings. Is it to represent purity? Show up in black and white photos and now it's tradition? Or something else?

    Border Terrier lover

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    1. I don't know for sure, but my guess is that with all the robes, sashes, orders, etc. with different people having different combinations, that a white background presents a less cluttered and more neutral look. M.

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    2. White is the tone worn to represent transition and rites of passages, not just purity. Think about the baptism gown that babies wear, the white gown worn by brides, and, I'm sure as well, the white gowns worn at the opening of parliament: they all symbolize a liminal phase, the threshold between the past and the present.

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    3. The Coronation was a very religious ceremony. White does represent purity, and for these occasions the notion of purity extends to fealty to the leader of the Church being celebrated as being anointed by God.

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    4. I’m curious as to why the women took off their robes for the official portrait while the men didn’t?

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    5. I’m curious as to why the women took off their robes for the official portrait but the men did not?

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  24. Allison in US8 May 2023 at 22:56

    How great an idea would it be for the RF to publish a coronation book, including some unseen family photos, and give the proceeds to charity?

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  25. Well, whatever the explanation for the two dresses, I have to say that having two made strikes me as more than a bit extravagant, not least because these are dresses that probably will not be worn again but rather will be preserved for posterity in the royal collections. It was said that the Princess's wedding dress and veil cost upwards of 200,000 pounds. Given that lace did not have to be made for these dresses (though they do involve rather intricate embroidery), I'm sure they didn't cost that much, but still -- this would have been a quite significant expenditure, Cornwall income or no. I admired the way the coronation managed to respect and retain traditional rituals while making a deep nod to a more modern understanding of appropriate size and cost. I really fail to understand why two dresses were required.

    That said, aside from the V-neck, the dress design as revealed in the official photos is pretty much what I imagined it would be, very traditional and simple. Nothing more daring or interesting would have worked under the RVO robes, which provided plenty of color and visual drama of their own.

    Unfortunately, I think the official photos aren't particularly successful. Photos like these always suffer from a need to observe certain basic conventions, which means they can look a bit boring, but these just aren't particularly flattering to either the subjects or the environment. The colors are off, and the photos don't present their main subjects with much aesthetic depth or resonance. I have to admit that old black-and-white photos of monarchical events tended to represent monarchy rather better, not least because they blurred flaws, or at least distanced them from viewers' eyes, thereby achieving that magic on which, Walter Bagehot once opined, "daylight" should not be admitted.

    But then, there is frail Princess Alexandra, being supported by the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, and looking as though she couldn't be more delighted to have been honored in this way. I was so happy to see her! She basically retired from royal engagements some years ago, for health reasons, I heard, but more recently has made an effort to appear and assist again. How good of the King to recognize her many years of efforts on behalf of the Crown.

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  26. I have to agree with Charlotte - about two dresses rather than one - as the neckline for the service doesn't show any indication of a cape/overlay required to cover the Buck' Palace version. I'm sure there was a late call to have the royal ladies in the VO robes which would make that neckline awkward to pull off. Having followed Alexander McQueen online for all these years - they produce a number of pieces for each collection featuring magnificent embroidery so I don't think it would have taken much to make 2 dresses - I'm sure they will be much used for state occasions and opening of Parliament etc.. And maybe that's why PoW said she was still getting all her ducks in a row!

    I did miss some of the glitter, tiara's and pizzazz tbh - even though they looked magnificent.

    For me - there were a couple of small misses - it was the little details such as Charles purple tunic - that didn't have the grandeur of a uniform and looked a little messy with his white silk shirt below visible - and I thought looked very shiny and almost something of a fancy dress costume. Something slightly longer and a more fitted/ embroidered and maybe in the purple velvet of the Robe would have worked better. I guess I am so used to seeing Charles so dapper or OTT in Uniform - this seemed like a missed opportunity. Comparing the images of the late Queens - the robes seem to be lacking details and embellishments - chords/ over the top white stain shoulder bows etc... Just small details that would have helped give a more "polished" regal look.

    Do you think there's probably more photos to come this week? - hopefully including George and the siblings etc...

    Thanks for the magnificent coverage you've done over this memorable few days - it's been amazing.

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    1. Hello Mr D!

      I do think a portrait of Charles, William and George will be released. Possibly for the Sunday papers or even Father's Day. I had hoped for at least two or three more today.

      A sincere thanks to all for the very kind feedback, it is greatly appreciated.

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    2. Mr D completely agree with you about KC's purple tunic. I understand the need for him to wear something to be easily removed for the anointing part of the service but this purple tunic is disappointing and for me its the wrong shade of purple a much deeper shade of purple would have looked better. Sue in WA

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    3. wishiwereinlondon9 May 2023 at 06:33

      The purple and gold tunic was the garment worn by The King’s grandfather George VI at his Coronation. There is a Coronation portrait of George VI where it is quite visible.

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  27. Hello, I enjoyed all of your coverage, Charlotte, thanks to the lovely post catherine was regal she born into doing her job well done love the king phoos as well they look fantastic all them

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  28. Does the first pic contain all the working royals?

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  29. I can’t believe how much time I’ve spent thinking about this dress thing! LOL.

    I’ve looked at a number of photos of Kate arriving and departing the Abbey, and there’s no sign of a cape, or capelet, underneath those robes. I think any kind of loose fitting covering would have been visible. So I’m now convinced there were 2 dresses.

    I think Kate planned to wear the one we see in the official photo for both the Coronation Service and the BP events. I think that because KP released a statement that she would be wearing that dazzling necklace that the curved V neckline showed off so nicely. I’m guessing that KC3 decided sort of late in the game that he wanted Kate and Sophie and others to wear those robes. And when Kate tried on the robes with the dress she intended to wear, she realized the neckline didn’t work. I don’t know anything about custom clothing and the amount of work that would have gone into creating the embroidered fabric for another entire gown, but I’ve got to assume AQ could pull it off in a short amount of time. We heard Kate said a few days before the Coronation that there were still some last minute fittings going on, so perhaps that’s what she was alluding to. And maybe that’s why they were late, some very last second adjustments being made to the new dress.

    Anyway, that’s where I stand on this Great Dress Debate tonight.

    Before I close, I really want to thank Charlotte for the excellent coverage. Very timely and thorough posts. Pat yourself on the back, Charlotte! And also thanks to the CK community - I’ve enjoyed the commentary very much.

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  30. There is a seam at the waist of the gown…could it be two pieces? Same skirt for both the coronation and for photos, but different tops?

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    Replies
    1. Same dress plus cape. She needed to protect her gown from the closure straps of the blue and read big cape

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  31. I think the official photos are less than perfect in composition and grandeur but I'm sure we will see better ones to come eventually. Lovely to see Princess Alexandra in the photos but her being propped up/supported by Edward and Sophie seem a little ill planned for someone who was to be included in the photos but obviously unable to stand by herself. I've made comment above about KC's purple tunic.
    The great dress debate I too think there are 2 dresses, and it seems one may have been well on the way to being made to be worn with the diamond necklace then when the decision to wear the robes another had to be made?? I don't think we will have an explanation for it because of the accusations of waste, but they underestimate their eagle eyed followers ; ) I guess the coronation outfits will be on display at BP over the summer sometime. Sue in WA

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  32. Nice portraits of HM King Charles, William and Kate. I just wish Prince Harry was in these photos :( thanks Charlotte for your posts

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  33. It would be cool imho to have a jeweller make a tiara based on this head piece.

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    Replies
    1. Crown Princess Mary has one very similar I believe.

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    2. I think she has 2 similar the Danish ruby parure tiara and the Midnight tiara which is made with semi-precious stones. It is interesting reading about the ruby tiara which she has remodeled from its original setting. Sue in WA

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  34. NovemberNanny9 May 2023 at 11:04

    Hi everyone,
    It was a delight to follow along in this momentous time in history with all of you. Thanks to Charlotte for providing this platform for us to enjoy.
    I was not able to watch the service in real time, so it was so helpful to be able to pop in and see what Charlotte had posted.
    I learned more about the role of a monarch and appreciated the music and some of the symbolism of the other parts of the service.
    I was not as disappointed about the lack of tiaras although it did puzzle me. I would have chosen those over the robes. I understand that these too are symbolic but most of that is lost on me.
    I do respect and admire the way the British are obviously taught from a young age to appreciate pageantry.
    The Wales’ children along with the other page boys did an admirable job. I am a childcare worker and know how much work had to happen behind the scenes for this to be possible.
    These are a few of my observations and I think I will stop there. Thanks to the other posters who chime in with their take as well. I do enjoy the commentary.

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  35. While the robes looked very regal for the coronation, it’s too bad the women couldn’t have just worn their gowns. Both Catherine’s and Sophie’s were magnificent and I’m sure look even more exquisite in real life. Would have been nice for more people to to see them “in person”. Are they the type of my own that can be reword?
    Many thanks Charlotte for you amazing, detailed and well balanced coverage of these historic days.

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  36. There is a photo which shows the edge of a cape peeking out just an inch or two under the edge of her robe. A cape makes more sense. With all that went on that day a dress change seems unlikely. I think from the photos it was a short cape that fastened in the back with the embroidery embellished to match the bottom of her gown. Mirroring Charlotte’s look.

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  37. The Duchess of Gloucester looks stunning. Caro

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  38. My comment is about the composition of the photo. Why is Kate on the second step? Wish they would have centered Charles and put Kate on the same riser as William. Which begs the question in my mind--why is Tim Lawerance on the riser but not Kate? She will be Queen but he won't ever be King

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  39. Camilla’s crown looks too big, especially when you contrast that with Kate’s headpiece and Charles’s crown. Feels funny to say this, but I think Kate’s headpiece looked the best in the photos.

    Other minor things: I wish Camilla’s dress wasn’t so white. The back of her cape is deep purple with pretty gold designs and I wish there were more darker gold contrasting color used in her dress to help reduced the contrast of predominantly white outfits and dark, almost black looking, crowns in the photos. Or pull part of the purple cape to the front so the embroidered back shows up in the photos. Charles’ silk/satin(?) bright purple tunic looked too shiny and loose. Wished they used a more matte material that doesn’t reflect light.

    I agree with other posters about the photos lacking a certain artistic and oomph factor given that these are the official coronation portraits. I don’t know if it’s the lighting or too much editing to make colors popped but they don’t have the same freshness and refinement we normally see in royal wedding, christening and other special occasion photos.

    Perhaps everyone was too tired by the time they had to do the photo session.

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  40. Susan in Florida9 May 2023 at 23:12

    I’m sorry : the lighting in these photos is so poor, it makes the crowns look photoshopped. I expected more from a ceremony that was lovely. And yes , posing a group is not easy but the King and Queen should have been allowed another day to pose in the crowns and clothing . I love the jewelry. I respect the hours it took for the embroidery .

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  41. My initial reaction was Oh My!! How radiant?! Then when I looked a little closer, I was like oh no, they look so tired poor things! William looked happy as well as the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, but everyone else just looked completely exhausted or tired from smiling for days on end. Regardless, it’s a beautiful photo! Hopefully we will see more that shows them a bit more lively!!

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  42. I really hope it wasn’t a second dress, because no way would you get that done on short notice. The embroidery/embellishments are too similar to rush this. And even if you have people working like crazy for 2-4 weeks - the dress would cost so much more than with a regular construction process. And having a second dress done because the neckline doesn’t look as nice under the mantle would quite honestly be the epitome of vanity and really wasteful. For all the talk of skipping tiaras to be socially sensible, this would be a slap in the face. I can’t believe they would do that. Especially with a/two dress/es that will never be worn again.
    That said, in no picture can you see any hint that there is a cape underneath. You would see the additional fabric ending. Same for an insert- you would still see the neckline of the dress over it.

    Sadly, both Sophie’s and Kate’s dresses, fall somewhat flat in my opinion. Extra points for the idea of Sophie’s dress. But it doesn’t suit her. She looks very bulky. Kate looks very rectangular as well. The middle section and upper/middle skirt part make for weird plain area. I also don’t think the neckline works for her. It didn’t in 2019 and it doesn’t now. It’s reminiscent of the neckline the Queen Mother wore. But hers was deeper, more embellished and had different arms. It also had a wide skirt which balanced the neckline.

    I think my favourite apart from Camilla is the Duchess of Gloucester.
    C.

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  43. Apparent confirmation that it was a cape over Kate’s dress—check out the photos in the Tweet referenced in this story. I never for a moment believed Kate would have two separate and virtually identical dresses made; it is out of character both for her and for Charles’s sustainable agenda. I think she looked gorgeous and perfect for the occasion, but then she always does.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/royals/kate-middletons-coronation-dress-mystery-29942252

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