Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Fascinating Fridays (Royal and Imperial Robes)

To rekindle our interests in all things Royal after such a long absence we thought it prudent to include one of our traditional lectures on Royal facts on a Friday. Today we will discuss one of those very historic, almost archaic, sometimes impractical yet always impressive Royal symbols. There are many symbolic aspects of Royal dress linking the person of the monarch to his country, his history and even his faith. Many of these symbols, like the crown, seem far more obvious than others. Our choice for today's lecture is the Royal Robe and its meaning. Royal Robes have there origin in the obvious albeit it almost primitive origins of plain and simple clothing. In ages past, a cloak was worn like any other part of clothing, for protection against the elements. Over time the more distinguished members of society embellished their appearance to signify status and for standing out in a crowd. This required what eventually developed into jewellery and fancy decorated clothing. These decorations on clothing and even the very clothing piece itself over time acquired symbolic value as it became associated with the ruling classes and leaders. What began as a mere covering against the cold, inclusive of fur and excessive length to cover the body down to the ankles, thus ended up in the very ornate robes, cloaks and mantels worn on official State occasions by our historic Royals.

The Empire of Ruskiana was at its apex the most illustrious and most gloriously embellished to date. The Ruskian Tzar appeared in awesome regalia at State functions and for those purposes a rich purple a gold robe of great length was worn. Today only black and white photos remain of that spendour.

For the wedding of a Queen Regnant and a Crown Prince of another country full State Robes were required. At the 1986 wedding of Queen Crystobel of Scotney to Crown Prince Christian of Britania special robes were made to commemorate the unprecedented event. These robes were destroyed during the 1996 Revolution. 

The Kings of Syldavia always wear gold and green to display the national colours of Syldavia. The Syldavian Royal Mantel has survived since medieval times in the National Museum and as such also survived the 1996 Revolution and was used in the restoration of the monarchy in 2012. The train of Queen Maxima's dress was specially designed to allude to a Royal Robe but in essence does not qualify. 

The almost 200 year old Royal  robe of the Grand Princes of Wallachia is very young when compared to the age of the monarchy. However robes were not part of what may be considered regalia in Wallachia and the Principality merely joined in with what to them became fashionable in the mid 1800's. Today however the rulers of Wallachia will appear in the robe for State Portraits and Investitures.

The Principality of Swann commissions a new Royal robe for its Duke to be worn at his Investiture/Coronation and their after to Opening of Parliament ceremonies.

The oldest robe still in use by a Royal Court is the "King's Robe" belonging to the Grand Dukes of Reichethal. The clearly medieval robe dating from the seventh century is made from sackcloth embroidered with gold thread and serves the symbolic value of a ruler as servant carrying the humble weight of responsibility. The Grand Duke is revered as a proper King from the perspective of the local people although from an international perspective the province of Reichenthal is viewed as a mediatized Grand Duchy. The train of the Grand Duchess is not classified as a robe but may be seen as such as it was made in the absence of a consort's robe especially for the coronation of the current Grand Duke's great grandmother.

This archive photo (seen in this post for the frst time in almost 20 years), came to light in one of the Imperial Palaces since the advent of Royal popularity in Britania. It shows a rare record of the Imperial Coronation of 1993. All records were thought lost which makes this photo a very valuable insight into a lost time. Here we see Empress Crystobel and Emperor Christian wearing the blue velvet and platinum embroidered Robes of State made especially for the coronation. Interestingly the robes survived the revolution along with many imperial treasures due to Empress Crystobel's foresight.

Where some may say it is a frivolous waste of money, one thing can always be said for Royal symbols; they are beautifully crafted records of history and craftsmanship. We must remember somebody earned a living off making them whilst at the same time indelibly capturing a snapshot of eternal history, in my opinion art especially on this highest of echelons, is never a waste.

1 comment:

  1. Hola, me gusta mucho la foto con caballos.
    Que bien cuentas tu historia hasta parece real.