Supertunica (UK)

The Supertunica of King George V, worn on 22nd June 1911. The Supertunica of King George V, worn on 22nd June 1911. Royal Collection Trust / @ Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2014. RCIN 31793.

The Supertunica, also called the Robe Royal, is a full-length, sleeved coat with a belt, made of gold silk cloth and with embroidery down the front opening. The Supertunica forms part of the coronation garments worn by British monarchs. The form of the Supertunica derives from one of the Christian ecclesiastical vestments, and is said to have been inspired by Byzantine garments.

The example illustrated here dates from the coronation of King George V (in 1911), and was supplied by Wilkinson & Son of Hanover Square, London (Royal Collection Trust, RCIN 31793). Comparable forms have been worn since at least the fifteenth century. The sovereign is invested with the Supertunica following the anointing ceremony. It is worn with the Stole Royal and under the Imperial Mantle.

The Supertunica illustrated here was also worn at the coronations of King George VI (12th May 1937) and Queen Elizabeth II (2nd June 1953). The coat is open at the front and has a narrow strip and wider band of foliate embroidery on either side of the front opening. It is lined with red silk. The belt is similarly embroidered.

Royal Collection Trust online catalogue (retrieved 26 June 2016).


Last modified on Tuesday, 25 April 2017 17:44
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