My mother kept some newspaper clippings about the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937. They’re in what I think is her first scrapbook.
The Imperial State Crown
“After the Coronation ceremony this crown is worn by the King on State occasions. This crown was made for Queen Victoria in 1838 and embodies many historical gems. In front is the second Star of Africa, cut from the Cullinan diamond. It weighs 309 3/4 carats.”
What to wear
Top left: “This design of an embroidered robe and dress of velvet trimmed with ermine is one of the official costumes to be worn by peeresses at the Coronation. It was modeled at a ball in aid of a London charity.”
Top right: “The Imperial Crown of India. When King George V announced his decision to go to India to hold a durbar neither the Crown of England nor the Imperial Crown could be taken to India. A new crown was therefore made for this occasion.”
Bottom left: “One of a pair of made-in-Canada sandals which are being offered to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth as a Coronation gift from our Dominion. The beautiful slippers valued at $16,000, are studded with 500 carefully selected diamonds and 500 richly glowing rubies.”
Bottom right: “St. Edward’s Crown, copied in the time of Charles II from the ancient crown worn by Edward the Confessor, is the Crown with which all English Kings have been crowned.”
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes
We might want to take a closer look at these shoes. Despite my googling efforts, I could not find out who made them. Or what the Queen thought of them. I know, if I were Camilla, I’d be looking through the storage rooms for them!
Royal Family Tree
In one of Mom’s later scrapbooks, a clipping from maybe late 1948 shows the royal past and future. The family tree from Queen Victoria to the baby Prince Charles is shown through both his parents.
Prince Charles of Edinburgh
“Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip are both descendants of Queen Victoria and Albert, her consort. Should Elizabeth ascend the throne, Philip will fill a role similar to that occupied by Albert. Their new son, born Nov. 14, is the first great-grandchild of Queen Mary.”
Oddly, the caption notes “should Elizabeth ascend the throne.” As a daughter, she was always heir presumptive rather than heir apparent. But still, by that time, who would have taken precedence?
Four years later, the young prince became heir apparent upon his mother’s ascension to the throne. Now he is King Charles III and today is his Coronation day. It is seventy years less a month after his mother was crowned Queen Elizabeth II.