The recent coronation of King Charles, which was witnessed by approximately 20 million spectators from the United Kingdom, has shed light on a specific piece of royal ceremonial attire, leaving many intrigued.
The 74-year-old monarch, crowned King in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey, donned numerous traditional garments throughout the proceedings. However, one element of his attire stood out and sparked widespread discussion.
In addition to receiving his crown and coronation robe, a gold coat and a sword belt, King Charles was presented with a singular white glove for his right hand. The spectacle of the King donning only one glove caused a flutter of bewilderment among viewers, leading to a flurry of humorous commentary on social media.
Social media posts included jesting remarks such as, “Does the single white glove mean Charles is also being crowned the King of Pop?” and others likened the glove to the fictional ‘Thanos’ glove’ from the Marvel universe. Additional quips included an assertion that King Charles was handed a new oven glove, a humorous misunderstanding on the purpose of the single glove.
In contrast to these conjectures, the one-glove tradition is deeply rooted in royal history. Known as the Coronation Gauntlet, this white glove is customarily worn on the right hand by the newly crowned monarch as they hold the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross during the crowning moment. The significance of the glove worn by King Charles is heightened by its historical lineage – it is the same one worn by his grandfather, King George IV, during his 1937 coronation, according to Royal Central.
Crafted from white leather, the glove boasts a wrist lined with red satin and intricate embroidery using gilt metal thread, wire, and spangles, forming symbols of national significance such as the Tudor Rose, thistle, shamrock, oak leaves and acorns. The back of the hand features a red velvet ducal coronet above the coat of arms of the Dukes of Newcastle’s family.
It is pertinent to note that King Charles chose to don numerous garments initially created for his grandfather. As the garments from Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 were designed specifically for her, reusing them was not an option. This decision reflects a move towards a more eco-conscious monarchy, which is mindful of reusing items from previous coronations where possible.
However, King Charles introduced a new element to the ceremony: a screen to shield him and Queen Camilla during the anointing, ensuring their privacy from the audience’s gaze. This decision signifies the balance between maintaining time-honored traditions and embracing the necessary evolution of royal customs.