Her Majesty The Queen's Coronation Dress and Robe of Estate will be on display at Windsor Castle from 8 October 2003 to 4 January 2004. Due to the popular appeal of Ceremony and Celebration: Coronation Day 1953 at the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace (open until 28 September 2003) these magnificent robes will continue to be displayed until the end of Coronation year in the Garter Throne Room at Windsor Castle.
The Coronation Dress of white satin was created by the royal couturier Norman Hartnell, whose sketches were unveiled to the press the day before the event. The dress's exquisite embroidery in gold and silver thread and pastel-coloured silks is encrusted with seed pearls and crystals to create a glittering lattice-work effect. The tiered design incorporates the floral emblems of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, running like shimmering garlands across the skirt.
The Robe of Estate was worn by The Queen when processing from Westminster Abbey after the Coronation. It is of English purple silk-velvet, woven in 22-metre pieces, and measures over 6½ metres in length from the shoulder to the tip of the train. The embroidered cipher of The Queen and border of wheat ears and olive branches, symbolising peace and plenty, took a total of 3,500 hours to complete by a team of twelve seamstresses working in shifts.
The autumn and winter months is one of the best times to visit Windsor Castle. In addition to the magnificent State Apartments, St. George's Chapel (the burial place of ten sovereigns) and Queen Mary's Dolls' House there is the opportunity to see the spectacular private apartments created by George IV and the special exhibition, Stuarts, which is full of fascinating historic material from the Royal Library and Archives.
Windsor Castle is open daily. As the Castle is a working royal palace, opening arrangements may change at short notice. It is advisable to check before planning a visit. Details of admission and tickets are available from www.royal.gov.uk or 020 7766 7304.
Further press information and images are available from Public Relations and Marketing, the Royal Collection, telephone: 020 7839 1377, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.