Love the monarchy or not, they put on a heckuva show. The coronation of King Charles III was a grand display of maximum pomp that was enough to lure many of us out of bed at 5 a.m. to be swept up in the ancient rituals of sceptres and stones of destiny, horse choreography, golden carriages and some very sparkly crowns.
Matching the coronation splendour with the public mood in Britain right now — a cost of living crisis paired with grumbling about the relevancy of the Royal Family in a modern world — meant that the trickiest part of this first coronation since Elizabeth’s 70 years ago involved ensuring that the fashion messages presented a modernized monarchy.
The Palace walked the line between tradition and modernity in clothing quite successfully. At coronations’ past, the peers of the realm all showed up in their heirloom velvet and ermine coronation robes. This time, only a fraction of the nobles in the land won an invitation — the tickets went instead to ordinary citizens of notable public service — and the toffs were told to leave their coronets and capes in storage. The dress code was daytime formal, also observed by heads of state and foreign royals. The efforts at inclusion meant faith leaders from across the religious spectrum were also invited to reflect modern Britain and the Commonwealth.
This sartorial strategy also had the benefit of making king-charles-iii-live-updates.html”King Charles and Queen Camilla stand out.
Seeing King Charles do as many changes as a fashion montage in a rom-com was fascinating, but since it was done in the context of an elaborate two-hour religious service, it had real gravitas. The King arrived in the Robe of State, a rewear from this grandfather, George VI’s 1937 ceremony. Underneath, he wore the