King Charles is giving his coronation garb a green twist.
The monarch, who has been a committed environmentalist for many decades, will reuse clothing worn by his royal predecessors for the ceremony on May 6. The Royal Household says the decision was made in the “interests of sustainability and efficiency.”
His Majesty will wear historic vestments that were featured in the coronations of King George IV in 1821, King George V in 1911, King George VI in 1937, and Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Although it is customary for the Supertunica and the Imperial Mantle to be reused, pieces such as the Colobium Sindonis, Coronation Sword Belt, and Coronation Glove will also be recycled instead of being made new for the event.
The Supertunica is a full-length, sleeved gold coat that was made for Wilkinson and Son in 1911 for the crowning of George V. It was subsequently worn by George VI and Queen Elizabeth II at their respective coronations and has changed very little in the past century. The Imperial Mantle is a regal robe that is worn over the Supertunica. Crafted from cloth of gold, it features embroidered roses, thistles, shamrocks, crowns, eagles, and fleurs-de-lis in gold, silver, and silk thread. Made for the coronation of George IV in 1821, the Imperial Mantle will be the oldest garment in Saturday’s ceremony.
In addition, Charles will don the Colobium Sindonis after his sacred anointing. Made by Ede & Ravenscroft, the white linen tunic was first worn by George VI at his crowning in 1937. That’s not the only piece Charles has borrowed from his grandfather, either. The monarch will reuse the glove and belt his pop wore at his own coronation, too.
The Coronation Glove, or gauntlet, was made by Dents in 1937. It features a white leather exterior and a red satin lining. It was also embroidered with gilt metal thread, wire, and spangles by the folks at Edward Stillwell & Company. The glove is adorned with an array of national emblems such as the Tudor Rose, thistle, shamrock, oak leaves, and acorns, as well as a ducal coronet and the Dukes of Newcastle’s coat of arms.
“We’ve got this wonderful, sustainable, eco-friendly king who’s reusing something rather than having a new glove,” Deborah Moore, the chief executive of glovemaker Dents, told Reuters. “It’s also a little bit of heritage, a bit of looking back to the past for our very modern king.”
The Coronation Sword Belt, also known as the Girdle, is again made of gold cloth and embroidered in gold thread with arabesques and scrolls. It has a gold buckle stamped with national emblems and a gold clip for the ceremonial sword.
It’s not like Charles is slumming it with such extravagant hand-me-downs, but the choice to recycle pieces is certainly a nice sentiment.