Satin Coronation dress worn by Queen Mary – King Charles’ great grandmother – in 1911 goes on display in new exhibition
- The regal dress is on display at Treasures of Gold and Silver Wire exhibition
- READ MORE: Outfits worn by King and Queen during Coronation to go on display
The dress worn by Queen Mary at her Coronation more than 100 years ago has gone on display for the first time today.
The regal dress, adorned with glamorous patterns and gold and silver silk thread, can be viewed at the Treasures of Gold and Silver Wire exhibition, at Guildhall Art Gallery, London.
Queen Mary, born Mary of Teck, was the paternal grandmother of Queen Elizabeth ll, and the consort of George V, with whom she shared six children, Edward, Albert, Mary, Henry, George, and John.
The cream and gold satin garment features embroidered gilt metal thread and was worn by the monarch at her official coronation alongside her husband King George V, at Westminster Abbey on June 22, 1911.
It boasts the emblems of the UK’s constituent nations, waves to represent the oceans of the British Empire, the Lotus and the Star of India.
The dress (pictured) worn by Queen Mary at her Coronation more than 100 years ago has gone on display for the first time today
The regal dress, adorned with glamorous patterns and gold and silver silk thread, can be viewed at the Treasures of Gold and Silver Wire exhibition, at Guildhall Art Gallery, London
Regal: Queen Mary and King George V are seen in official Coronation garb in June 1911 – Queen Mary’s dress is now on display at the exhibition
The exhibition – curated by Dr. Karen Watts of the Royal Armouries – has been put up in honour of prestigious livery company Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre, to celebrate 400 years of fine craftsmanship.
Catherine Carr, Master Gold and Silver Wyre Drawer, said of the occasion: ‘This superb exhibition will showcase the beautiful application of gold and silver wire over the centuries.
‘It will appeal to all ages, offering an opportunity to view examples of gold and silver wiredrawing of a calibre unmatched anywhere.
‘Visitors to the gallery will be able to put the exhibits in their proper social, cultural, and historic contexts, and discover the stories connected to them.
‘They’ll marvel at the creativity, attention to detail, patience, and technology that went into their design’.
The monumental dress worn by Queen Mary is just one of a few rare items at the exhibition, including the 16th Century Bacton Altar Cloth, believed to be the only surviving dress worn Queen Elizabeth I.
The one-time garment is made from cream-coloured silk and Italian cloth of silver.
It is embroidered with flowers, fruit, plants and animals, including mistletoe, roses, raspberries, caterpillars, frogs and bears.
The glove worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation more than 70 years ago is also displayed in the new exhibition
The glove, which is embossed with Her Late Majesty’s cypher, was worn by the monarch on her right hand when she was crowned in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953
Pictured here is the the only surviving dress worn by Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century – the Bacton Altar Cloth
Another item on display is the glove worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her Coronation in 1953.
The leather glove is embossed with Her Late Majesty’s cypher, and was worn by the monarch on her right hand when she was crowned in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.
The Queen’s coronation glove was made from white kid leather specially for the ceremony.
She put it on shortly after being invested with the Sovereign’s Ring and was wearing as she was crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury while holding the Sceptre with Cross.
The colour of the glove is a symbol of purity, intended to evoke the virtues of Anglo Saxon ruler Edward the Confessor.
It was presented to the Queen on the day of her coronation by Frederick Marquis, the then Chancellor of the Duchy Lancaster.
The crown and gold robe worn by Dame Helen Mirren when she played Cleopatra is also featured in the exhibition, along with costumes worn by Claire Foy and Matt Smith in popular TV royal drama The Crown, in which they played the Queen and Prince Philip.
Experts at Historic Royal Palaces concluded the exquisitely-embroidered garment was so lavish that it was almost certainly worn by the Queen herself. Other evidence included the existence of the Queen’s famous Rainbow Portrait (above), where she is seen dressed in a strikingly similar fabric
The garments from The Crown were worn in the show’s first season, which was released in 2016.
The cloth was kept at St Faith’s Bacton church in rural Herefordshire for centuries before its royal connection was uncovered in 2015.
Experts at Historic Royal Palaces concluded the exquisitely-embroidered garment was so lavish that it was almost certainly worn by the Queen herself.
Tudor law at the time dictated that such high status fabric could only be worn by royalty or senior aristocracy.
Other evidence included the existence of the Queen’s famous Rainbow Portrait, where she is seen dressed in a strikingly similar fabric.
One of St Faith’s early parishioners was her faithful lady-in-waiting, Blanche Parry, who received clothes from her royal mistress.
None of her other famously magnificent dresses survived.
Above: Darcy Bussell’s costume for the 2004 ballet Sylvia, along with the outfits worn by Claire Foy and Matt Smith in Netflix series The Crown, in which they played the Queen and Prince Philip
An elaborately-embroidered coat of a ‘State Trumpeter of the Household Cavalry’ bearing the Royal Cypher of Queen Elizabeth II is seen at the ‘Treasures of Gold and Silver Wire’ exhibition at Guildhall Art Gallery
The robe worn by David Tennant in his starring role in Richard II in 2013
A crown designed by Nadine Bayliss and worn by Helen Mirren when she portrayed Cleopatra in a 1982 stage production of Antony and Cleopatra
Dame Helen Mirren wears the headpiece in Antony and Cleopatra in 1982
The outfit worn by Foy – who played the Queen – was used in the scenes depicting the coronation.
Smith wore his navy suit in the depiction of the 1947 royal wedding.
Also in the exhibition, you can view Charles Dickens’ court suit along with a robe worn by David Tennant in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard II.
Visitors to the Art Gallery will be treated to a staggering 200 items ranging from centuries-old robes to contemporary jewellery.
Other items include theatrical costumes, military attire, ecclesiastical artefacts and modern jewellery.
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s culture, heritage, and libraries committee, Munsur Ali, said: ‘With such a visually engaging range of exhibits on display, this new exhibition promises to provide a feast for the senses.
‘I am sure that the show will prove very popular, in particular, with costume designers, fashion and military historians, theatre fans, and lovers of jewellery, who will find it very hard to resist the invitation to see this remarkable collection.
‘We are proud to host the exhibition as part of our Destination City programme.’
The Treasures of Gold and Silver Wire exhibition runs at Guildhall Art Gallery in the City of London until November 12.
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