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Coronation robes seen up close as Buckingham Palace opens to public

King Charles leaving the Abbey after the Coronation.

Visitors with tickets for Buckingham Palace this summer will see up close some items of history which were used during this year’s coronation.

They include the robes worn by the King and Queen at Westminster Abbey and the Throne Chairs they sat in for part of the service.

Buckingham Palace opens its doors to the public every summer and, from 14 July to 24 September, visitors can walk through the Palace Ballroom, State Dining Room, Throne Room and Picture Gallery.

His Majesty The King’s Coronation Ensemble and Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation Ensemble on display.

The late Queen authorised the public opening of the palace in 1993, following the devastating fire at Windsor Castle, so the repairs would not have to come from public funds.

Thirty years later, the summer opening is now a regular fixture and ticket sales bring in vital supplementary revenues for the royal coffers.

Visitor numbers are still 50 per cent lower than they were before the pandemic but senior royal aides are confident those numbers will rebound in the near future.

This year, ticket holders will be able to view The Robes of Estate the King and Queen wore as they left the coronation service after being crowned.

The shoes from Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation Ensemble.

The long purple robes are displayed in the middle of the Ballroom over the clothes Their Majesties wore on the day.

Queen Camilla’s coronation dress, designed by Bruce Oldfield, can be viewed up close.

Details which could not be seen on the TV cameras on the 6 May coronation include how the Queen’s two Battersea rescue dogs, Beth and Bluebell, are embroidered into the fabric – as well as the names of her children and grandchildren – many of whom took part on the day.

The name ‘Gus’ can been seen sewn at the base of the dress. He is the son of the Queen’s daughter, Laura Lopes. The Coronation Necklace sparkles from one of the display cabinets.

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach.

The necklace, made for Queen Victoria in 1858, contains 25 cut diamonds and has been worn by every Queen and Queen Consort since then (Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Camilla).

The Coronation Gauntlet – made for King George VI in 1937 – is also on display. The glove was used by King Charles to hold the Sovereign’s Sceptre during the moment of crowning, just as his late mother used it in 1953.

One of the first royal items ticket holders see as they enter the Palace is the impressive Diamond Jubilee State Coach which carried the King and Queen to Westminster Abbey.

It sits in the portico at the very spot where Charles and Camilla stepped in on the morning of the coronation.

It is the newest addition to the Royal Mews and the coach, made mostly in Australia, is made of aluminium and – unlike many other royal carriages – it has suspension and air conditioning. In the most sacred part of the service at Westminster Abbey, the King was shielding by a screen, as he was anointed with Holy Oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A pair of throne chairs, 1937.

The Anointing Screen, which has the names of every Commonwealth country sewn into it, is on show in the Ballroom.

Even though many parts of Buckingham Palace are going through a £369 million renovation over 10 years, the route the visitors will take avoids all the building work.

It means the reception and drawing rooms in the State Apartments looks as grand as ever.

Visitors do not get to enter the private wing of the Palace which was home to the late Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip and will be re-occupied by King Charles and Queen Camilla when the palace renovations are complete later in this decade.

Summer opening of Buckingham Palace coincides with a time when the King and Queen are away from London.

The King, like his late mother, will be in Scotland during the summer, on the Balmoral estate and the Castle of Mey.