The pomp of the Jubilee monarchy (and Prince Charles’s plans)

from Enrica Roddolo

Will the future be less ceremonial? Carlo will continue with the parades, for a social sustainability factor: many companies work there, explains Simon Cundey, supplier of the Windsors.

LONDON – The golden buttons of the liveries are still those of 150 years ago, we clean them, polish, and reuse them to dress new lackeys and coachmen of the royal carriages and … in recent years they are often women, she explains to the Courier Simon Cundey, seventh generation of the historic Henry Poole & Co tailor’s shop, in Savile Row near Piccadilly which since the time of Queen Victoria has held a Royal warrant, supplier of the royal house. One of the Royal warrants polished and put in the spotlight by the four days of celebrations just concluded in London for the Queen’s Jubilee.

For the Platinum Jubilee, Cundey displayed in Savile Row the solemn Garter Robe dated 1906 and worn by a Peer of the kingdom for the anointing ceremony of the queen with consecrated oil in 1953. at Westminster Abbey. From these rooms in 1865 the first tuxedo made for King Edward VII came out. The prince and future king wanted a comfortable jacket for dinners with friends: Henry Poole thus imagined for him a rounded jacket in a color he called Celestial blue. Among other things, the choreography of this Jubilee was the same as in the time of Edward VII because it was he who “designed” these ceremonies, recalls Cundey.

I remember my great-grandfather telling about Sir Winston, a longtime customeron the eve of the queen’s coronation in 1953: he was very old, his morning suit and clothes for those days of celebration needed many adjustments – continues Cundey – Sir Winston who considered the young Elizabeth as a daughter, for reassuring her in the new role he said that everything had to be perfect, even her clothes.

The magic of the Jubilee parades was also woven into these magnificent liveries at Trooping the Color as in the royal procession for the thanksgiving mass for Elizabeth’s 70 years of reign and for the final parade. Expression of a pageantry, of a chivalrous ceremoniality, as anachronistic as it is seductive. As well as the triumph of top hats and formal dresses for large events and parties. Oh yes we have had important requests for morning suits and evening suits: Ascot and all the appointments of the Season in this spring of Jubilee have a special importance in London. The Jubilee is also helping to restart this business in a new way: fewer formal jackets for the City but more worn for day or evening for galas.

Aren’t you afraid that after the queen, with the passing of the kingdom to Charles, everything will end, Mr Cundey? In short, that a monarchy restructured by Charles sends the lackeys to the attic like the worldly Season? No, I am confident that Prince Charles will also want to keep all this because they are traditions, but they are also family businesses, like ours, for centuries. It is a question of social sustainability and Carlo is attentive to sustainability. And then all our liveries are 100% made in Britain with local raw materials, and we reuse everything: from buttons to … even the gold of the uniforms, when the jackets are discarded melted and returned to the Royal Household which reuses it. . Because the Royal Household is the client of these liveries.

For example, you have stylistic indications to dress female coachmen different? Each new employee in the building presented to us by the Royal household, we take the measurements and proceed with different tests. Then aesthetically the uniform the same, technically different in the cuts for women. As for the raw materials, English wool, velvet and silver with 9-carat gold remain. So expensive raw materials, rampant inflation in London as elsewhere, not a problem? Virtually all of our suppliers are here, we have no import problems, rather the cost of labor is growing a lot after Brexit. Meanwhile for the Jubilee we also toasted here with the staff, to the queen. With a good gin and tonic as the queen would like.

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