Between the Royal Family, A-listers and the international elite, the Coronation of King Charles III was always going to be a fashion spectacle for the ages.
The pomp and pageantry of the ceremony lived up to expectation, and while spouts of protest accounted for moments of ruckus outside, guests making their way to the 2000-strong congregation did so in spectacular style.
Inevitably, it was the Firm’s chief of glamour, the Princess of Wales, who won hearts with the most fashionable look from the family - this time, with the added presence of her mini-me. Catherine enlisted the help of Alexander McQueen’s creative director Sarah Burton, her longtime trusted designer who was behind her 2011 lace wedding dress, to craft the ivory crepe gown, embroidered with roses, thistles, daffodils, and shamrocks she wore under her blue state robe. Importantly, McQueen worked with London based milliner Jess Collett to make Greek-like, silver floral headbands in the place of a tiara squashing months of speculation over whether she would be borrowing from the Royal collection, and fears of a flower crown more suited to Glastonbury.
Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte
Making headlines, however, was her
daughter Princess Charlotte, who at 8 years old won hearts in her
matching McQueen white cape, sparkling headpiece, and white ballet
pumps, alongside her brother Prince Louis who, though restless in
ceremony, looked smart in navy.
Ranking high in grandeur was Princess Anne, who wore her her Blues and Royals uniform and the green velvet Thisle cloak complete with a red feathered, bicorne hat. Her daughter, Zara Phillips, was less stoic but still elegant in a baby blue dress coat, matching Strathberry bag and diamond brooch last worn by Princess Anne in 2017.
Prince Harry arrives with Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Sisters Princess Eugenie and Beatrice took opposing routes, the former in subdued navy Fendi and the later a hot pink Beluah dress, a label whose tagline is “fighting slavery through fashion”. Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh was respectful in her Suzannah London white gown which, designer Suzannah Crabb told The Standard, “features a beautiful hand embroidered train inspired by gowns and regalia from the Queen’s Coronation in 1953.”
While not heaving with Hollywood superstars like a Royal Wedding, a number of famous faces did pull focus. Dame Emma Thomspon was an early arriver, doing so in a flamboyant red and black rose woven opera coat by Emilia Wickstead. She was joined by Lionel Richie, who was dapper in a top hat and Garrad diamond brooch, Ant and Dec, in three-piece morning suits and Nick Cave who was ever the vamp in a black suit with dark hair slicked back. Also outside the Abbey was Dame Joanna Lumley, who is infamously fond of the royal family, and looked thrilled to be in attendance wearing her 60s style navy dress with a contrast white collar and white bowler hat.
Stealing focus, though, was a sugar-pink Katy Perry who wore a bespoke suit from Vivienne Westwood, UK fashion’s late Queen of Punk, as she arrived with British Vogue’s editor in chief Edward Enninful.
Penny Mordaunt, Lord President of the Council
Left and right came together as streams of UK politicians made their way into the Abbey for the ceremony. It was Penny Mordaunt, the Tory MP who is the Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Privy Council, who stole the spotlight as she demonstrated impeccable upper body strength holding up the mighty 17th-century Sword of State for the duration of the service. Her outfit, a teal caped dress with golden fern embroidery from Hand and Lock, was more controversial, giving way to a string of less favourable memes.
UK Prime Minster Rishi Sunak arrived with wife Akshata Murty, who opted for a soft blue, jacquard dress by London based designer Claire Mischevani. “It was an absolute pleasure to dress Mrs Murty, for such a momentous, British occasion,” the designer told The Standard. “As an independent British brand, it means so much to see our pieces worn to such occasions.”
Former Prime Ministers included David Cameron and his wife Samantha, who wore a floral red frock with scarlet hat, Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie, who opted for a blue dress and navy tweed jacket, as well as Liz Truss and Thersea May who both braved shots of orange in their looks
And with no fear of controversy, it was Suella Braverman who won prize for most outlandish head piece as she demanded attention wearing an huge, cream organza fascinator and grey suit.
The international dignitaries
The Coronation would not have been complete without a helping of international razz-matazz - and there was no shortage of that. Led by the woman dubbed Spain’s answer to Kate Middleton, Queen Letizia did not disappoint in a hot pink peplum skirt suit by Carolina Herrera, complemented by a wide brimmed hat as she made her way into the Abbey with husband, King Felipe. Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece was another adopter of the popular powder blue in her custom look by Mary Katrantzou, which she finished with an unconventional clutch - a model of Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time. Rounding off the best dressed European royals was Princess Charlene of Monaco, who was ever-striking but understated in a pale beige, button-up skirt and blazer complete with sash-style drape.
Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States, opted for a periwinkle power suit, with matching gloves and ribbonned headpiece nestled in blonde hair. It comes after her shocking hot pink statement as she met with Akshata Murty at No.10 Downing Street yesterday. First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, wife of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, also made an inspiring appearance alongside Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in a monochromatic, pale-teal look. Her smart overcoat featured side pleats, worn over a coordinating slip dress and finished with drop pearl earrings and white heels.
Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron
French president Emmanuel Macron wore an all black suit and tie as he was joined by his wife Brigitte, who channelled quiet luxury in an uber-chic pastel pink dress and matching coat designed by Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton.
Elsewhere, looking resplendent in their respective national dress, were King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan, Queen Nanasipauʻu Tukuʻaho of Tonga, and Crown Princess Kiko of Japan.