700-year-old medieval chair to be used for King Charles III's coronation gets a makeover
Ahead of King Charles III's crowning, scheduled to take place later this year, a medieval chair used in the coronation of monarchs is undergoing restoration work. The extremely fragile chair, estimated to be 700 years old has witnessed the coronation of every king and queen of England since 1308.
"It's the oldest surviving piece of furniture still used for its original purpose," said conservator Krista Blessley before adding, "It has a complex layer structure, which means the gilding layers often flake off, so a lot of my work is sticking those layers of gilding back down, making sure it's completely sound before the coronation."
Blessley has already been in four months working on the chair. She says the chair is 'extremely fragile' and that it has a complex layer structure.
The chair was constructed on the orders of Edward I who ruled the crown from 1272 to 1307. In its former glory, the chair was covered in gold leaf gliding, different patterns of animals, birds, and saints as well as coloured glass.
The chair included the Stone of Scone, also called Stone of Destiny which had been used for crowning Scoting kings for centuries. He brought the Stone from Scotland in 1296.
Standing tall at 2.05 metre, the coronation chair, with the Stone, faces the High Altar. It was partially destroyed during a bomb attack in 1914, carried out by Suffragettes. At the time, a small corner was chipped away. Later in the 18th century, the lions present at the base of each corner were replaced.
The coronation ceremony is expected to take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey. A coronation carriage procession will also take place with a concert and lightshow planned at Windsor Castle the following day.