ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST
THE CORONATION SPOON
Second half twelfth century
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THE ROYAL FAMILY SHARES RARE DETAILS ABOUT THE CORONATION’S
months weeks of anticipation, King Charles’ coronation has happened. By now, we all feel pretty up to speed on the day’s biggest symbols: the 700-year-old chair, the crowns, and the king’s gilded carriages to name a few. However, the one element we were surprised by was the screen used in the anointing ceremony.
The concept of the anointing screen isn’t exactly new. Since this portion of the coronation symbolizes the monarch’s divine right to the throne, it’s typically done away from the public—and, of course, the millions of viewers watching on live television at home. But, while the late Queen Elizabeth II used a canopy to get some privacy, King Charles kicked things up a notch with a full-blown screen.
Designed by iconographer Aidan Hart and managed by the Royal School of Needlework, the screen took inspiration from the stained glass sanctuary window in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, which was gifted by the Livery Companies to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. According to the Royal Family, King Charles personally selected the design inspo.
With the monarchy’s cipher at the bottom—to represent the king’s position as servant to the people—the screen boasts 56 leaves to pay homage to the British Commonwealth’s 56 member states.
Of course, the easter eggs go beyond what meets the eye. The screen itself features a mix of hand and digital embroidery, hitting the sweet spot between the royal lineage’s long-standing history and tradition and today’s more modern methods. From the sustainably sourced threads to the wool backdrop—which was sourced from Australia and New Zealand, but milled in the United Kingdom—it’s safe to say Mother Nature would approve.
Oak poles made from a windblown tree at Windsor Estate supported the screen so King Charles could grab some much-needed privacy. And the perfect finishing touch? Two mounted two eagles, which were cast in bronze and gilded in gold leaf. The Royal Family notes that the eagle was featured on Queen Elizabeth’s coronation canopies as well—a small nod to his family’s history but executed on the new king’s terms.
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