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British Royal Family

Eight months of research and a hidden symbol: The fascinating back story behind Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation gown

As she celebrates 67 years since her Coronation, we take a look back at what Queen Elizabeth wore for the most important day of her life.

By Jess Pullar
Queen Elizabeth II has some incredible stories to tell, that much has always been clear - though many of us are not always privy to the details behind her most poignant moments.
Indeed from the day she was crowned Queen of England right up to today, where she still reigns sound as ever aged 94, we've watched as the formidable Monarch has gone about her duties with the grace, ease and sophistication famously synonymous with Britain's most regal firm.
On June 2, 2020, she marked 67 years since her Coronation - an incredible, record-breaking feat as she remains the longest-serving Monarch in British history.
The Queen's Coronation took place on June 2, 1953. (Getty)
That fateful day, so long ago now, was filled with many interesting insights and details, which naturally, have slowly filtered from our minds over time.
But some things should never be forgotten - one of which sits right in front of us whenever we look back to the 67-year-old event.
Queen Elizabeth's Coronation dress was a sight to behold.
By comparison, one might look to a royal wedding dress, which holds incredible significance and often becomes an icon of the day itself.
But a Coronation dress is on a whole other level - it will be the garment seen in history books, countless articles and viral footage from the day.
So, it doesn't come as a surprise to learn that Elizabeth's Coronation dress has a very interesting origin.
The Queen's Coronation dress remains iconic to this day. (Getty)

Who designed Queen Elizabeth's Coronation dress?

Queen Elizabeth's Coronation dress was designed by the same dressmaker behind her stunning wedding dress, Norman Hartnell.
And it seems that when it came to its creation - eight was the lucky number.
Hartnell came up with eight different designs, which was later to be whittled down to the ninth, final product.
It also took a whole eight months to come into fruition, and the end result that was nothing short of breathtaking.
The white, gold and silver design featured a simple silhouette: Shaped and fitted at the waist, a sweetheart neckline, short sleeves and a billowing skirt.
It was stunning in its own right, and fitted the Queen to absolute perfection.
But the details is where the true charm of the dress lies.
The incredible gown (pictured on the Queen above, as she stands next to her Coronation Bridesmaids) took months of work to complete. (Getty)

Symbolism

Of course, you can't look past the dress and not notice the intricate embroidery and designs throughout.
The Queen personally picked out a design that summed up the very places in which she would soon be reigning over.
The dress included a sweet Tudor Rose design, which was carefully embroided with pink silk, a Welsh leek, which was embroidered in white silk, a Scottish thistle, embroided with pale mauve silk and amethysts, as well as a calyx embroidered in green hued silk.
Other Commonwealth countries saw their own national icons incorporated into the design.
The Irish shamrock, the Canadian maple leaf, the New Zealand silver fern, the Australian wattle flower and the Indian lotus flower were all subtly, yet beautifully included.
It was also later revealed the gown included a hidden four leaf Shamrock, added by Hartnell of his own accord as an omen for good fortune.
The beautiful design still lives with the Royal Collection Trust. (Getty)

The Queen's Coronation robe

While the dress itself is captivating enough, the Queen's Coronation robe was also an incredibly special element to the day's garb.
The deep purple silk garment looks majestic in its own right, so perhaps it's unsurprising to hear it took 12 people to create over more than 3,500 hours.
The piece also featured a monogram simply stating E II R, and was embellished with gold thread, with a monogram reading E II R.
WATCH: Queen Elizabeth discusses her Coronation in a new documentary. Story continues...
With such an incredible and rich 67-year story, our Queen opened her reigning chapter with grace, ease and elegance on that day in 1953.
And of course, knowing the craftsmanship, care and dedication that went into the garb she so iconically wore, it seems her Coronation set the precedent for years of good fashion to come.
Long live our ever-stylish Queen, indeed.

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