When it came to creating the coronation gown for Queen Camilla, designer Bruce Oldfield had the monarch’s full trust and support. This allowed him to create something quiet and full of subtle symbolism — and secrets!
Speaking with ET’s Kevin Frazier on Monday in England, Oldfield reflected on the dress and what he was able to create for the historic occasion.
“It [came together] remarkably fast, because I’ve been making dresses for her for 10 to 12 years, so I kind of know what she likes,” Oldfield shared. “I really think I do understand her figure, I know what she likes about her figure, I know what she doesn’t like… it was very easy for me.”
Despite what people may assume about the level of stress being responsible for the new queen’s coronation gown might cause Oldfield admitted, “I’ve had no sleepless nights over this dress. It’s been lovely.”
The dress itself featured a ton of symbols and visual iconography within the embroidery, including designs representing Queen Camilla’s dogs, the names of her grandchildren, her royal cipher and symbolic representations of the four nations of the UK.
“It was full of symbolism, you know? It’s all to do with the British monarchy and all those things that make Britain strong,” Oldfield shared. “We had to put in some things, like the emblems of the four nations. The daffodils for Wales… you’ve got a rose for Britain, you got the thistle for Scotland, we’ve got the shamrock for Ireland.”
And the hidden details didn’t end with the embroidery.
“There was one secret, of course. There was a secret pocket,” Oldfield revealed. “So a lot of the time she was going to be sitting on one of the thrones, and so we had to position this pocket [in the front].”
“So, if you pull back this overskirt of the dress, there was a pocket concealed, which you can access [easily],” he shared, adding he didn’t know exactly what she needed to keep in the secret pocket, but suggested it might have been for tissues if she got overwhelmed during the royal ceremony.
King Charles III’s coronation took place at Westminster Abbey, in London, England, and formalized his role as the head of the Church of England and marked the transfer of his title and powers.
King Charles was crowned with the St Edward’s Crown from the 17th century, which weighs nearly five pounds, has a solid gold frame and 444 stones.
Similarly, Camilla was anointed and crowned queen during the occasion. Camilla is the first divorcee to be crowned, and the coronation invitation that was released in April made headlines when it referred to her as “Queen Camilla” for the first time. Until then, she was described as queen consort.
During the ceremony, Camilla was seen wearing the historic “coronation necklace,” which was previously worn by Queen Elizabeth II on her coronation day, 70 years prior in 1953, was first commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1853.
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