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The Dorchester Hotel Recreates Decorations From Queen Elizabeth's 1953 Coronation

To celebrate the coronation of King Charles, the London hotel turns to its history.

The façade decorations unveiled today for King Charles’s coronation in 2023.


As the United Kingdom prepares for the coronation of King Charles, one iconic London institution is looking back at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953.


The Dorchester, a luxury hotel located on Hyde Park, is recreating its decorations from Queen Elizabeth's coronation to celebrate the impending coronation of her son, King Charles III. "As The Dorchester has been at the heart of London since 1931 we really felt it was important for us to create something special to celebrate HM The King," the Dorchester's General Manager, Luca Virgilio, told Town & Country.


Virgilio continued, "We took a look back at the previous coronations that the hotel has celebrated and took great inspiration from Oliver Messel’s designs for The Queen’s coronation in 1953. Our façade will be completely transformed to honour Messel’s original designs, but we will be sure to add some modern touches."

The Dorchester’s façade was transformed by Oliver Messel for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.


Seventy years ago, Messel, a British stage designer, was contracted to design the façade to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Per the hotel, "Messel’s design for the coronation decorations included dramatic draping across the hotel’s balconies, created to make the hotel’s concave façade look like the interior of a theatre seen from the stage." Messel's coronation design was the start of his association with the British royal family; in 1961, his nephew, Antony Armstrong Jones, married Princess Margaret, and Messel would go on to design Margaret's Mustique home, Les Jolies Eaux, a few years later.


The 2023 decorations channel Messel, using the similar draped blue banners across the balconies, and the motif of the crown:



The new façade debuted today, along with other coronation celebrations at the hotel, including a special afternoon tea and a cocktail—the "Sovereign Martini"—in honor of King Charles. "It is perfect timing for us as we just unveiled our beautiful new ground floor of the hotel this past January following a really comprehensive renovation. We look forward to raising a glass to honour The King!" Virgilio said.


The Dorchester's coronation decorations will be up until May 19, 2023.

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