Belvoir Castle on a sunny day

The Duchess of Rutland Showcases Family’s Historic Coronation Robes at Belvoir Castle

Historic ceremonial robes made for the 9th Duke of Rutland for the Coronation of George VI in 1937 will be shown by the present Duchess of Rutland before they go on public display in the Ballroom of Belvoir Castle from 12 March 2023.

The robes made for the Manners family have not been on public view for more than 22 years. With the Coronation of King Charles III on 6 May adopting less formal attire, there is now an opportunity to put the robes on display at the Leicestershire castle along with Coronation chairs and archive family photographs, documenting the regal occasions.

The Dukes of Rutland have taken part in most coronations since James II in 1685. The roles given to the different Dukes of Rutland varied each time but, in the main, they were bearers of the Sceptre of the Consort (wife of the King) and played a role in the anointing – holding the cloth of gold over the head of the Monarch.

In 1937 at the Coronation of George VI, the 9th Duke performed the role of Bearer of the Consort’s sceptre and cross. On this occasion the 9th Duchess – Kathleen Tennant – was in attendance. Kathleen, or ‘Kakoo’, as she was affectionately known, was a Canopy Bearer for the Queen Consort (The Queen Mother).

The red page attire was worn by the then Marquis of Granby (future 10th Duke of Rutland, father of the present Duke, David Manners) where he performed the role of page to the Duke of Gloucester just two weeks before his 18th birthday. The 10th Duke’s brother Lord John (at age 14) wore the yellow outfit and carried the Lord Chamberlain’s coronet.

Posted on 06 March 2023

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Jack Woolley