A momentous occasion, steeped in tradition and regality, the coronation of King Charles III will set the tone for a new era for British royalty. Surely a memorable event, the coronation will mark the beginning of a new era for Britain and the English textile industry. With a history of extensive support to wool manufacturers and drapers, we can expect King Charles III to continue to place wool as a fibre of choice, particularly for suiting fabric.
A coronation in tune with a new era
Referred to under the code name Operation Golden Orb, the coronation of Charles III has been the subject of discussion and preparations for many years. In fact, Charles III became king directly upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II on the 8th of September 2022. Two days later, the Accession Council of the United Kingdom proclaimed the new king and similar declarations across the Commonwealth realms followed. While Queen Elizabeth II was still alive, meetings were held regularly in anticipation of this historical event.
Following an appropriate period of mourning, King Charles and Queen Camilla will be crowned on May 6th 2023 at Westminster Abbey in London with May 8th proclaimed an extra bank holiday for the occasion.
A smaller event fit for a modern monarchy
The ceremony has been called a “cost of living” coronation as it is reportedly been planned on a more restrained scale compared to the Queen’s coronation in 1953. The idea is to show sensitivity towards difficult times for the English with restrained budgets and an economic climate that calls for caution. The ceremony will be smaller, shorter and will include a more diverse set of participants.
The extensive guest list has been limited to 2,000 persons which will of course include members of the British royal family, several past and present British prime ministers and representatives of the houses of Parliament. Representatives of the Commonwealth and other heads of state are also expected to attend.
In keeping with tradition, King Charles III will wear the regal robe of velvet and ermine while the Archbishop of Westminster will carry the royal sceptre and orb. The St Edward’s Crown, which is made of solid gold and more than 400 gemstones, including rubies, garnets, sapphires, will be placed upon his head.
An invitation true to the King’s commitments
The invitation sent out ahead of the ceremony ’s design by Andrew Jamieson reflects one of the major themes of the century and that will likely be very present throughout the new King’s reign: ecology and the environment. These topics have been addressed by the King for many years through several campaigns.
When deciphering the design of the invitation, we can note the choice of the "Green Man", a recognisable element of British folklore synonymous with rebirth, represents this long standing commitment. Jamieson also chose to represent local fauna, birds and insects, and flora species like ivy, pansies, hawthorn, wildflowers and oak leaves.
King Charles III and the Campaign for Wool
Early on, King Charles III has acted as an outspoken advocate of the wool industry in the United Kingdom. An integral part of the British environment, sheep and the warmth of their precious fibres have been a focus of initiatives to develop mens’ wool fabrics for several decades. His Majesty has time and time again championed English wool fabric for suits and backed many initiatives aimed at supporting wool producers. In 2010, he launched the Campaign for Wool in collaboration with The Woolmark Company as a global initiative to showcase and promote wool in a diversity of products and styles. This move also called on wool manufacturers to adopt more sustainable practices.
Who is Woolmark?
Born in the mid-20th century, The Woolmark Company was created to support and protect the interests of wool farmers and producers around the world. Eventually, a certification program was created to ensure the quality and integrity of wool products. The Woolmark certification was launched in 1964 as a registered trademark with stringent standards for quality, performance and sustainability. Today, it is the company’s best known achievement and synonymous with prestige and authenticity. Its aim was also to promote various applications of wool. Over the years, the certification evolved to include more detailed criteria on environmental and social sustainability extending to manufacturing processes and fair labour practices. It became the mark of both high-quality wool fabrics and a deep respect for the animals. Today, the Woolmark Certification covers garments, home textiles, carpets and other design objects.
Dormeuil and the Woolmark Company both share a passion for quality mens wool fabrics. Our long standing partnership is rooted in this search for excellence while keeping an eye on innovations within the wool industry. Dormeuil is a licensee of Woolmark Company's prestigious "Cool Wool" certification program, which promotes the use of lightweight, breathable wool fabrics for warm weather wear. We have since maintained a strong relationship between the two companies and had the privilege to collaborate on many exciting projects.
Advocating for sustainability in the wool industry
King Charles III has been a strong advocate for ecology and sustainable practices. Understandably, he paid special attention to mens wool fabrics. With The Woolmark Company’s support, the Campaign for Wool was launched to raise awareness about the fascinating benefits of wool for modern dressing as well as its high potential for sustainable practices in the garment industry. Taking a holistic approach to the industry, the campaign sought to gather various stakeholders from across the wool supply chain, from farmers to designers and retailers.
Prince Charles' support for the wool industry in the UK is part of his broader commitment to promoting sustainability, conservation, and traditional British industries. Sustainable farming and agriculture were also endorsed, including practices such as regenerative agriculture, which preserves biodiversity, soil health, and animal welfare. He also sponsored organisations like the Rare Breeds Survival Trust which strives to preserve native sheep breeds in the UK as well as to promote genetic diversity in the wool industry.
Dressing the part with mens wool fabrics
To promote wool as a first choice for suiting fabric, King Charles III started including exquisite examples of wool tailoring in his wardrobe. Bringing wool back at the forefront of the garment industry posed a real challenge. It was important to highlight the fibre’s versatility and educate both retailers and customers about the valuable heritage it carries and its potential for heralding a new more sustainable era for fashion.
For many decades now, King Charles III has shown his support to the wool industry in his stylistic choices. In personal and professional attire, King Charles III made sure to include English wool fabric for suits ; so much so that the fibre became a staple of his wardrobe. His Majesty has been seen wearing mens wool fabrics as suits, coats, and other garments on many occasions, in both casual and formal settings, extending to official engagements.
Dormeuil had the privilege to supply men’s wool fabrics to royal drapers and has remained a preferred choice for world renowned tailors who cut exquisite suits in keeping with high levels of high-quality and performance. A coat cut from Dormeuil’s vicuna wool suiting fabric collection was addressed to His Majesty. It is a camelid breed from the Andes region of South America, vicuna makes for exceptional mens wool fabrics. It falls under Dormeuil’s quest to find the finest, most resistant and comfortable textiles.
The key role played by the world renowned The Woolmark Company in the Campaign for Wool shows how intent King Charles III was to put wool under the spotlight on the world fashion stage. This was not from mere personal interest but stemmed from a true understanding of his country’s long held tradition of crafting wool fabrics for men and how critical it was to preserve the industry. Today, Dormeuil’s mens wool fabrics carry the Woolmark certification with pride.