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Queen Elizabeth II's 1953 coronation regalia to go on show

By Stephanie Ott, CNN
updated 1:14 PM EDT, Fri July 26, 2013
Queen Elizabeth II's coronation dress and robe. Queen Elizabeth II's coronation dress and robe.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Queen Elizabeth II's coronation regalia from 1953 goes on display at Buckingham Palace
  • Visitors will also be able to stroll through 19 state rooms
  • The exhibition shows recreations of the table settings and flowers of the coronation banquets

(CNN) -- For the first time since the queen's coronation in 1953, the dress, robes, jewels, diamonds and uniforms worn on that day have finally been brought together again.

The coronation dress and the robe that Queen Elizabeth II wore as she walked down the aisle at Westminster Abbey on Coronation Day on 2 June 1953 are the centerpieces of the showcase at the Buckingham Palace.

"It's one of the most important days of her life being crowned as sovereign and I think it must bring back a lot of very happy memories," said the exhibition's curator Caroline de Guitaut.

British couturier Norman Hartnell designed the white satin dress with embroidered national and Commonwealth floral emblems and attached pearls, crystals and sequins.

The robe that the queen wore when she left Westminster Abbey to go to Buckingham Palace is made of English purple silk-velvet and is more than 6.5 meters long from the shoulder to the tip of the train. The embroidery of wheat ears and olive branches, which includes 18 different types of gold thread, was produced by the Royal School of Needlework and took 3,500 hours to complete.

De Guitaut added: "I think it's very difficult to put a price on these very unique and very special objects and of course they're just so redolent of that magnificent day, that very famous day in our national history."

The outfits worn on the day by the then four-year-old Prince Charles and his two-year-old sister Princess Anne can also be seen. The Halo tiara that the queen's sister Princess Margaret wore and which was later loaned by the queen to Kate Middleton when she married Prince William at Westminster Abbey is part of the exhibition. Visitors will also be able to stroll through 19 state rooms in the palace.

"There are lots of other works in the visitor room which people will see and encounter and also will give them a sense of what it was like to be in Buckingham Palace on that day," de Guitaut said.

After the official coronation, more than 8,000 guests were invited to Buckingham Palace to celebrate the occasion at banquets. The exhibition shows recreations of the table settings and flowers of the series of banquets that foreign heads of state and the royal family attended.

This year's exhibition is part of the public opening of the palace every year when the queen leaves on vacation. It runs from 27 July until 29 September 2013.

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