|A Herbstrewer's Gown (Royal Pavilion, Museums and Libraries, Brighton)|
The coronation took place on 19th July 1821 and was a monumental undertaking. A cast of hundreds played their part and the start of festivities was a procession to Westminster Abbey, at the head of which walked Miss Fellowes, the King's herbwoman. Behind her followed six attendants, all of her selection and all of whom were around seventeen years old.
The six lucky young ladies were Miss Walker, Collier, Hill, Garth, Ramsbottom and Daniel and they walked two by two, each carrying their own basket of flowers. They scattered these as they walked, in a traditional ceremony intended to ward off plague and pestilence.
The girls wore these gowns, made of cream silk gauze. Each also had an ornate ruffled collar, though these have since been lost. The hem and sash that decorate the gown might appear to be flowers but these are actually made of silk and cotton too, adding a very pretty adornment to the gown.
|The Coronation Procession by George Scharf, 1821|
The procession must have been quite a sight to behold and one can only imagine the excitement of the young gentlewomen who were chosen to lead it; I am sure it was an experience they remembered all their days!
Life in the Georgian Court, true tales of 18th century royalty, is available at the links below.
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