If you've been paying attention over the past few years, you'll know that HMS Monarchy has done a bit of a PR U-turn. After the turmoil of the '90s — from Sarah Ferguson's toe-sucking and Windsor Castle burning down to the frosty, and decidedly ill-judged, dealings with Diana — it seemed the royal family would never bounce back into anyone's good books. But bounce back they have.
Naturally, we suspect this is partly down to the royal wedding and Diamond Jubilee celebrations and partly due to Prince Harry being Prince Harry, but mostly a direct result of the Queen's incredible ability to colour-coordinate her ensembles, including hat and gloves, with assassin-like precision. Awe-inspiring doesn't even cover it.
Understandably perhaps, Buckingham Palace is keen to make regal hay while the sun shines, and for 2013 they have another royal anniversary up their sleeve. This summer, the palace is to stage a recreation of the Queen's 1953 coronation in celebration of its 60th anniversary. The exhibition will feature the Queen's Norman Hartnell gown and robe, complete with its phenomenal 21-foot trail and jewels, as the centrepiece.
Visitors will see the rooms used by Cecil Beaton for his photographs of the newly crowned monarch and the palace ballroom will be re-laid as the banqueting hall.
“This show, because it is such an auspicious anniversary, will be on an unprecedented scale. It will be the first time that these outfits have been brought together since 1953", the exhibition’s curator, Caroline de Guitaut, told the Standard , “They are all in really good condition in spite of their age. The children’s outfits are charming. Princess Anne’s dress is of Queen’s silk with lace. The Prince’s outfit was a silk shirt with lace jabot [a scarf]. He also wore page boy shoes.”
The exhibition will form part of the annual summer opening of Buckingham Palace, and will run from July 27 until September 29.