To celebrate the Coronation of King Charles, we’ve selected items from Raby’s collections to add to rooms around the castle. These represent different historical coronations and include copies of invites, commemorative magazines, and orders of service. Below are some highlights to spot when you visit, which will be on display in the castle until Sunday 3rd September.
At your service: Footmen uniforms
Footmen were employed to serve and attend to a family, both in the household and when travelling. The role was considered to be a luxury and status symbol; the uniforms in the Raby collection are designed with style in mind and to match the colours of the State Coach. They were also created for men of similar stature and build.
The uniform, or livery, consisted of jackets, waistcoats, knee breeches and stockings. The buttons were personalised, and depict the Vane family insignia.
Crowning glory: coronation decorations
These large decorations were made to celebrate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, which took place in 1911 and was attended by the 9th Lord and Lady Barnard.
The entire set consists of a G, M, two Rs (for Rex and Regina) and two crowns. They have hangers to hold red glass jars, which contained candles to light up the display.
While we don’t have any photographs of the decorations in use, the Teesdale Mercury reported that they were positioned at the entrance to the castle and were decorated with ‘fairy lamps.’ We can only imagine how long it would have taken to light all the individual jars!
A royal visit: William III of Netherlands portrait
This portrait shows His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, who by unfortunate timing, discovered he was to become King of the Netherlands while visiting Raby Castle in 1849. After his coronation, he gifted the 2nd Duke and Duchess with this portrait.
However, the Prince didn’t want to become King. William resented his Father, William II’s constitutional changes which he saw as limiting royal power. Upon hearing of his father’s death, William was reluctant to leave Raby Castle and return to his duties, and he repeatedly contemplated abdicating when his eldest son William came of age.
These items will be on display until Sunday 3rd of September. Alongside this, we have a Special Tours: Raby and the Royal Family which explores the links between the Royal Family and Raby as well as an exclusive Spotlight on the Archives: Raby’s Royal Connections which provides a unique insight with the Castle’s very one Archivist.