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We speak to the curator of a new exhibition at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh, which is displaying two of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee dresses, before anyone else…
If you enjoyed this year’s Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, then you’ll want to see this summer’s special display at Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse, where you can see the two outfits Her Majesty wore for her Buckingham Palace balcony appearances from now until 25 September 2022.
Sally Goodsir, curator of the Platinum Jubilee Display, tells us it was always the intention to bring together three of the past Jubilee dresses – the 1977 pink dress, the 2002 blue dress, and the 2012 turquoise dress, which have never been displayed in Scotland before.
Sally tells us that the Palace of Holyroodhouse also hoped to be able to display one of the Platinum Jubilee dresses alongside them, but in the end, they were delighted to be able to display two of the outfits and this is the first time they will be on display since Her Majesty wore them.
It’s a great exclusive for the palace, but the significance of the other outfits on display, which can be seen with a normal entry ticket, should not be underplayed.
“The pink dress is arguably the most iconic,” Sally says. “It’s the one I’m always asked about.”
Of course, the “pink dress” is an ensemble of dress, coat and stole in pink silk crêpe and chiffon, designed by royal courtier Sir Hardy Amies, which Her Majesty wore with a matching hat by Frederick Fox with flowerheads hanging from silk stems.
Sally says, “This dress is perhaps most remembered because it’s what Her Majesty wore when she went on one of the first walkabouts of her reign, walking from St Paul’s Cathedral to the Guildhall.
“There were lots of good press photos taken of this, which are very dateable now, photos of people leaning over the railings with their large 1970s’ cameras, hoping to get their own picture.”
But back to those Platinum Jubilee outfits. On display this summer is the green wool crêpe, coat, dress, and hat that Her Majesty wore on Buckingham Palace’s balcony following the Platinum Jubilee Pageant on 5 June 2022 (see image at top of article).
The palace is also displaying the blue wool charmelaine ensemble she wore both to take the salute at The Queen’s Birthday Parade on 2 June 2022 and in the official Platinum Jubilee photograph. A print of the photo is on display beside it.
The exhibition also touches upon Her Majesty’s 1953 visit to Scotland, just weeks after her coronation, in which she was presented with the Honours of Scotland. The Order of Service from this presentation is on display, as is a painting of the Honours being presented to Her Majesty.
When Her Majesty visited, there was a procession through the city from Princes Street up to the Royal Mile – some of our readers may even remember it.
Sally says: “This exhibition is special because it’s the first time that all the Jubilee dresses are brought together and it’s in Scotland.
“It’s a chance to reflect on the Queen’s official duties in Scotland. The way the palace is presented, it’s not always possible to show the sort of presentations that take place here and it’s a good opportunity to have a better understanding of the Queen’s duties in Scotland.”
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