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E. Scriven after J. Stephanoff, George IV and His Pages 

George IV 

George IV's coronation robes cost over £24,000 - equivalent to £960,000 today. His red velvet train measured 6.4 metres (27 feet) and was decorated with embroidered gold stars. It was so long that it was carried by eight pages, rather than the customary six, to whom George was overheard saying "Hold it wider". Underneath he wore a suit made of cloth-of-sliver, which was lavishly trimmed with gold lace and braid.


Benjamin Robert Haydn wrote of George's arrival in Westminster Hall before the procession to the Abbey;


"Something rustles, and a being buried in satin, feathers and diamonds rolls gracefully into his seat. The room rises with a sort of feathere, silken thunder. Plumes wave, eyes sparkle, glasses are out, mouths smile and one man becomes the prime object of attraction to thousands... As he looked towards the Peeresses and Foreign Ambassadors, he showed like some gorgeous bird of the east".


Henry Rivington Hill, who watched the procession to the abbey, wrote to his sister Hannah stating that:


"I discovered the King from his height which exceeded that of anyone near him by about four inches. He wore a hat like Lord Londonderry except with more diamonds and the feathers not so high, and he had long ringlets hanging down the back of his neck. More of his dress I cannot describe as my eyes and those of my companions were riveted to the face of our august monarch. He had no colour but his complexion was clear and healthy and seemed to cast reproach upon the Queen's painted cheeks, showing that he disdained to have recourse to such expedients. He walked firm and majestically and his countenance was the picture of happiness and good humour, bowing on all sides in return for the enthusiastic almost stunning shouts of applause which rent the air from all quarters".


The long red coronation cloak was later purchased in 1830 by Madame Tussaud for use in her coronation tableaux of George IV. After the anointing ceremony the cloak was replaced with the coronation mantle. Traditionally each monarch had a new coronation mantle, which after the ceremony was presented to the Dean of Westminster Abbey to be made into copes. However George IV's mantle was sold after the coronation. Since Queen Victoria's coronation in 1838 it has become customary for the coronation robes to be reused. George IV's coronation mantle was discovered in the early 20th century and has subsequently been used at the coronations of George V through to Elizabeth II.

 

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