Members of the House of Lords have been asked to dress down for King Charles’s Coronation next month and to forgo wearing traditional extravagant coronet headgear. Photographs from the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953 show rows upon rows of peers of the realm wearing the crown-like adornment.
But with King Charles III determined to make his own Coronation on May 6 more streamlined, it has been reported guests have been asked to dispense with some of the usual pomp and finery.
The Telegraph reports members of the House of Lords traditionally wear a coronation robe “made of scarlet velvet with a collar of white fur” and a “coronet denoting their rank in the British peerage”.
However, it’s understood new rules have been issued to those invited to the ceremony that state guests can “wear their usual parliamentary ermine, used at the state opening of Parliament each year, or standard business dress”.
Ceremonial attire for peers was first introduced more than 500 years ago. Coronation robes were later standardised and passed down through the generations.
According to The Telegraph, coronets were also worn historically at such occasions and the items varied depending on the rank of the peer.
The lowest rank baron would “wear a band decorated with six silver balls” while the higher rank of a duke would have one “decorated with eight strawberry leaves”.
Although they look a lot like a crown, coronets differ from their more regal counterparts because they usually are not adorned with arches. They are also smaller and lighter.
The word coronet derives from the Old French coronete which itself derives from the Latin and Ancient Greek for a word meaning garland or wreath.
It’s expected King Charles’s Coronation will last around an hour and the Monarch has expressed his desire to tone down some of the extravagance of the service which will aim to reflect the diversity of modern Britain.
The coronation weekend begins on the morning of Saturday May 6, with the investiture of King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey. On Sunday May 7, a concert will be staged in the grounds of Windsor Castle. On Monday May 8, the public are being invited to volunteer during The Big Help Out.