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Robe of Estate (UK)

King George V of Britain wearing the Robe of Estate during the coronation ceremonies in June 1911. King George V of Britain wearing the Robe of Estate during the coronation ceremonies in June 1911. Photograph Royal Collection Trust / @ Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2014.

During the British coronation service, the sovereign wears a number of different garments, some of which are embroidered. One of the most elaborate and spectacular items is the Robe of Estate, which is a long, purple velvet mantle worn by the British monarch after the actual coronation. 

It is worn when the king/queen processes out of the cathedral at the end of the ceremony. It should not be confused with the Robe of State, a much plainer, crimson mantle that is worn at the beginning of the ceremony, or the Imperial Mantle, a gold mantle that is worn during the Investiture phase of the coronation.

The Robe of Estate is normally very long. The robe worn by Elizabeth II (r: 1953 - ) was 6.5 m in length from the shoulder to the tip of the train. It is embroidered in goldwork with the ciphers of the queen and has a border of olive branches and wheat ears, symbolising peace and plenty respectively. The mantle took 3500 hours to complete and was made by a team of twelve embroiderers and seamstresses, who worked in shifts at the Royal School of Needlework. It is normal for most of the coronation robes to be newly made for each monarch.

See also the TRC Needles entry on the British coronation garments.

Sources:

GVE

Last modified on Monday, 24 April 2017 18:53