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Royal fashion on show

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Next week, Buckingham Palace will exhibit original fashions from the Queen's Coronation 60 years ago, with dresses and jewels among the items on display.

Among the items available to the viewing public are the stunning gowns worn by the Queen's Coronation maids of honour. Designed by royal favourite Norman Hartnell, the cream silk satin dresses were covered in gold detailing and crafted from separate toiles in order to give uniformity to the maids, who were different heights and proportions.

The dress, above, may look majestic, but it was worn by the Queen's maids of honour

As Hartnell recalled in his autobiography, the maids were to follow behind the Queen in Westminster Abbey, so he planned "for the embroideries of small gold leaves and pearl white blossom to cascade down the backs of their billowing skirts of white satin."

Above: The silver, gold and diamond crown the Queen wore for her journey to Westminster Abbey

The crown set to go on display at Buckingham Palace is the Diamond Diadem, worn by the Queen on her way to the ceremony. Designed and made by historic jewellers Rundell, Bridge & Rundell in 1820, it incorporates the national emblems of the thistle, rose and shamrock, and includes 1,333 diamonds set in silver and gold.

Along with fashions and jewels worn on the day, The Queen’s Coronation 1953, will feature paintings, plans, invitations and furniture, as well as items such as the gilded wood carriage the Queen travelled in to Westminster Abbey, and the specially made gold and ivory pen she used to sign her oath:

Above: The Gold State Coach used to transport the Queen to her Coronation was first used for the State Opening of Parliament by George III in 1762

Above: The Queen's pen, given to her by the Worshipful Company of Scriveners, was in the form of a conventionalised feather, with the vane made of ivory and the shaft and decoration of gold

The exhibition runs from July 27 to September 29.

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