In honor of Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, which celebrates the monarch's record-breaking 70 years on the throne, her coronation dress is going on display.
The famous gown, which the Queen wore on the day of her coronation on June 2, 1953, will be displayed as part of a special Platinum Jubilee exhibit at Windsor Castle from July 7 until Sept. 26.
The dress, designed by Sir Norman Hartnell, was created in the finest white duchess satin, richly embroidered in a lattice-work effect. It was decorated with the floral emblems — created gold and silver thread and pastel silks, encrusted with seed pearls, sequins and crystals — signifying the nations of the U.K. and the Commonwealth.
Unknown to the Queen, Hartnell included an extra four-leaf shamrock on the left side of the skirt, which was positioned perfectly so that Her Majesty's hand would rest on it during the ceremony.
Royal Collection Trust
The Robe of Estate, which she wore over her dress during the ceremony, will also be on display. The magnificent Robe of Estate was made for the coronation (and seen in an iconic portrait by Cecil Beaton) by the royal robe-makers Ede and Ravenscroft and took 12 embroideresses, using 18 different types of gold thread, more than 3,500 hours to complete from March to May 1953.
According to the Royal Collection, the artisans used purple silk velvet and the goldwork embroidery design features wheat ears and olive branches, symbolizing prosperity and peace, surrounding the crowned intertwined EIIR cipher.
Although Elizabeth ascended the throne as a young 25-year-old princess on February 6, 1952, immediately on hearing of the death of her father, King George VI, it wasn't until 16 months later on June 2, 1953, that she was crowned, such was the extent of the planning needed.
Cecil Beaton/Victoria & Albert Museum Queen Elizabeth in her coronation portrait by Cecil Beaton
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Other highlights of the four-day Platinum Jubilee weekend, which kicks off June 2, include the traditional Trooping the Colour parade, a day of horseracing at Epsom, a Royal Pageant through London, the Jubilee luncheon and a star-studded pop concert at Buckingham Palace.