Coronation Stitchery

Traycloth design I believe was created for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, which I finished just before she died.

Since I did, in fact, manage to finish the traycloth I found half-begun, which I believe was designed for the late Queen’s Coronation in 1953, within her reign (if only by a few weeks), I thought I should do something in stitchery to commemorate the Coronation of King Charles III.

Nothing of the quality of those beautiful screens, or any of the other stitching (I can’t have been the only person muttering, “I want to hear more about the embroidery!”), but something simple, embroidery in the hand, like this traycloth, a return to my stitching roots.

Rendition in stitches of the floral crown designed as part of the coronation logo.

I’ve not really had the time, or the ideas, frankly (too much else cluttering up the “designs” part of my head!) to develop anything of my own, but since the Palace had gone to the trouble of creating a rather charming Coronation logo, making use of the heraldic flowers of the United Kingdom to bring together the nations, and the King’s well-known love for the natural world, I decided to take elements from that, and put them together into a traycloth or runner.

The crown is in the centre of one short side, and I’ll put His Majesty’s cipher at the other end.

Small floral elements of the coronation logo.

The long sides are going to be decorated with more elements from the Coronation logo. It’s all very simple stitchery, but it has been an excellent companion to the Coronation itself, and to Patrick Grant’s wonderful documentary about Kashket’s, Hainsworth’s, and the other companies involved in making elements for the Coronation.

That documentary made me positively homesick for my postgraduate days, visiting spinning mills in Lancashire and Yorkshire, surrounded by the smell of wool, and the passion and dedication of the people working in the mills. It’s an odd thing, but I’ve never met a cynic in the textile industry. People who are anxious about the future, yes, concerned about loss of skills, yes. But none of them pretend not to care, and if you show any interest, their eyes light up, and soon you are engulfed in a great flood of enthusiasm, knowledge and ideas.

Yes, I know what people say about dour Yorkshiremen. That wasn’t my experience of them, not at all!


  1. Sue Jones says:

    I am fairly sure there was an mostly unfinished version of that QEII traycloth in Mum’s ragbag for years. Or one very like it. I have no idea what became of it.
    My first cross stitch, aged five or six, was a row of guardsmen in their red coats and black busbies. On green Binca, in wool. This was at school. (There was no choice of design, as far as I can remember.) I have no idea what happened to that little mat, either.
    I didn’t notice any coronation traycloth designs on sale this time.
    I hope yours will please you for many years.

  2. Linda says:

    I like all your coronation work, I particularly like the row of horses on the tray cloth. A friend was talking about that documentary, I shall have to see I can find it to watch, sounds interesting.

  3. Lin says:

    This will be a nice companion piece to the earlier one – and with a little more thought behind the design! xx

  4. I Like your Coronation stitchery very much, and yes, I too wanted to hear more about the embroidery – even a mention that the beautiful screen had been done by the RSN would have been good!

  5. Carolyn Foley says:

    There was so much embroidery involved in the Coronation and I too would have liked to hear more about the background to it all. And, I love the idea of adding more stitching to this piece.

  6. Alex Hall says:

    I was one of those desperate to hear more about the embroidery too! So much not only on the vestments but on the clothing too. The little details that have so much meaning behind them and are just not seen.

  7. Loving the line of soldiers in the sampler!

  8. You now have two pieces to commemorate the coronations of Mum and Son. I am sure you will enjoy looking at both of them for many years to come.
    I also sat and drooled over the embroidery and wished there had been close up shots and more information about the beautiful screens and all the costumes.