The crowing of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6, 2023, herald the dawn of a new era for the British monarchy. Among the many aspects that captured the attention of the public and the media, one was the fashion choices of the guests who attended the service at Westminster Abbey. In this article, we’ll delve into the sartorial highlights of the royal gentlemen who graced this unforgettable event.
At the coronation, the Royal Family adorned themselves with an exquisite selection of intricate gowns, magnificent velvet cloaks, and ornate military uniforms. These carefully chosen garments underscored their esteemed status as members of time-honored chivalric while also reflecting their longstanding ties and allegiances with the UK’s Armed Forces.
The Prince of Wales
In a display of impeccable military style, Prince William, donned the ceremonial dress uniform of the Welsh Guards, a fitting reflection of his role as the regiment’s colonel. This stunning uniform, made from Hainsworth scarlet wool doeskin, is single-breasted with a stand-up collar that boasts the silver leek emblem of the Welsh Guards. The regimental insignia, depicted on the gilt buttons, adds an extra touch of grandeur to the ensemble.
In a nod to his time in the Royal Air Force, the Prince also wore his pilot’s wings, earned during his service flying helicopters. His left breast was adorned with a trio of medals, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee, and Platinum Jubilee medals. The Prince also sported the distinguished Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle Sash, complete with the Order’s Badge. The Garter Star, representing the Most Noble Order of the Garter, was proudly worn above the Thistle Star. And for the ultimate regal touch, the heir to the throne wore the Garter Mantle, Collar of the Order of the Garter, and the Great George of the Order of the Garter.
Overall, Prince William’s immaculate attire was a testament to his impressive military background and his honored position in the royal family.
Prince Harry: The Duke of Sussex
While not formally involved in the coronation ceremony, the King’s youngest son, Prince Harry, made a statement with his attire. As a veteran and retired British military personnel, The Duke of Sussex is not permitted to wear a uniform unless authorized to do so. However, this did not stop him from paying tribute to his military background by wearing his medals, which were pinned to his sharp civilian clothes. He opted to wear a bespoke black morning suit by Dior Men. The Duchess of Sussex has worn the label on several occasions. This affinity for Dior may hold sentimental significance, as Prince Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, was an iconic ambassador for the Parisian brand.
The dress code for the event was specified as “National dress, morning coats or lounge suits”. Deeply ingrained in British fashion heritage, morning suits represent the pinnacle of men’s formal wear, commonly sported at weddings and other significant occasions. It was only fitting that these distinguished ensembles graced the Coronation with their presence.
The less prominent royals not participating in official duties during the ceremony evidently received the morning suit notice. Edo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Beatrice’s husband, and Mike Tindell, Zara’s spouse, donned these sophisticated garments as well.
Classic blacks and greys are typically favored for morning suits, with several attendees showcasing exquisite traditional noir styles. Nick Cave stood out in his striking, almost-Vanta black ensemble, while Lionel Richie added flair to his black waistcoat with a dandyish Garrard brooch. Vogue editor Edward Enninful chose a sleek blend of black and grey, courtesy of a custom-tailored Huntsman morning suit.
A morning suit offers the advantage of introducing a touch of lively color and joy. It is among the few domains of men’s formal attire that encourage the use of color through waistcoats and accessories – as evidenced by Stephen Fry‘s pastel yellow and Enninful‘s soft blue. It is also customary to play with contrasting patterns on pocket squares and ties. The King himself, an aficionado of morning suits, typically dons one from Anderson & Sheppard for Ascot, often paired with a pink or lilac waistcoat to showcase his fondness for pastels.
Despite the prominence of morning suits, lounge suits made their presence known throughout the day, notably on politicians such as Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, and Sadiq Khan, who all chose simple single-breasted suits.
Special recognition is due to the newly-appointed Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf, who wore a kilt featuring a modern Spirit of Glasgow tartan crafted by the city’s Slanj Kiltmakers, as well as a jacket and waistcoat adorned with embroidered lapels.
Conversely, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan showcased their regal elegance with coordinated traditional attire, featuring delicate shades of lilac. King Jigme Khesar donned a traditional Bhutanese Gho. Meanwhile, Queen Jetsun Pema gracefully adorned herself in a traditional Kira.