- Windsor uniform
The first Court Uniform was the Windsor Coat or Uniform, dating from c.1778. This is now an evening
tail coatof dark blue cloth, lapelled, with scarlet collar and cuffs. There are three buttons on each front two at the back of the waist, and two at the end of each tail, and also two on each cuff and one above. The gilt buttons bear a design of a Garter star within a Garter, surmounted by the imperial crown. It is worn with a white single-breasted waistcoat with three small gilt buttons of the same pattern, and with plain black evening-dress trousers. When the court is in mourning a black waistcoat and black armband are worn.
The full-dress, which had a good deal of gold braid about it, did not survive for long and it is the undress form which is worn today. Since the reign of King Edward VII it has been worn only as evening dress. The Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have dinner-jacket versions which they wear at Windsor and elsewhere, and after 1977 the Prince of Wales wore the Windsor Coat while hunting.
The undress version of the Windsor uniform is a dark blue
jacketwith red at the collar and cuffs.
It is a reversal of the well known
livery coloursfor The House of Windsor, red jacket with dark blue at the collar and cuffs.
In 1820 King George IV introduced a Court Uniform based on the Windsor Uniform, modified by the dress of the French Marshals. It had a blue tail coat (or "coatee"), lined with black silk, faced and laced scarlet, gilt buttons, waistcoat , breeches or trousers. Soon only the Royal Household wore scarlet cloth facings, and all others had black velvet facings , collar and cuffs. Later the facings, collar and cuffs became blue velvet.
From 1898 a Household Evening Dress Coat was described. This comprised dark blue cloth evening dress coat (tails), black velvet collar and lapels, three flat gilt buttons engraved with the royal cypher and crown, on each side, two at back, two at bottom of tails, three on cuffs. In 1908 this was worn with a double-breasted white marcella waistcoat (changed to single-breasted 1912), with same buttons but smaller in size, without long pointed fronts, plain black evening dress trousers or black evening dress or stockinet breeches. With breeches court shoes with bows and black silk stockings, and with trousers boots or plain court shoes with bows. White necktie, winged collar, gloves 1908 only, completed the suit. No crepe band when in mourning. Members of the Households of the Queen and the royal dukes have special buttons.
The appearance is very similar to that of the Windsor Uniform. The later only differs in having lapels, scarlet cuffs and collar, and a crape band when in mourning. Gentlemen of the
Lord Chamberlain's Office and the Master of the Household's Department wear similar suits.
Household Uniform (1937 pattern)
Full dress was worn at Courts, Evening State Parties, Drawing Rooms, State Balls, State Concerts, etc. Full dress coat was worn with trousers at special occasions. Levée dress was worn at levées, and other ceremonies where full dress was not worn. Neither were worn after retirement, without special permission. Officers in possession of superior military, naval or air force uniform may wear this as an alternative.
Full DressCoatee- (Privy Counsellor, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd classes) dark blue cloth, single-breasted, stand collar. The collar and gauntlet are of scarlet cloth, and the pocket flaps of blue cloth. Nine buttons up the front, showing between the two embroidered edges (which are made to hook), two at the waist behind, and two at the bottom of the back skirts. White silk linings. A white collar may be worn inside the collar of the coat. Gold oakleaf embroidery on the fronts as follows- Privy Counsellors not more than 5" wide at the base of each front; 1st cl, not more than 4½"; 2nd cl, not more than 4"; and 3rd cl, not more than 3", but to spread across the chest according to figure.The collar, pocket flaps, back, skirts, back skirts, and side edges are also embroidered. The embroidery on the cuffs should not exceed the following widths- Privy Counsellors 5"; 1st cl, 4½"; 2nd cl, 4"; 3rd cl, 3". Privy Counsellors have purl edging, 1st cl wavy edging worked with rough purls, 2nd and 3rd class saw edging.Full dress coatee is optional. Levée coat may be substituted for it, at the choice of the wearer. Buttons- gilt, mounted, the Royal Arms with supporters.Coatee for 4th, 5th classes as levée.Breeches- white kerseymere , with three covered buttons at the knee.Hose- white silk.Shoes- black patent leather.Hat- Privy Counsellors- Black beaver cocked hat, black silk cockade , treble gold bullion loop and tassels, with hangers (these by 1912 no longer hang, and now take the form of ornaments fixed on the top of the tassels, which do not hang). White ostrich feather border. 1st class- as above, but without hangers to the tassels. 2nd class- as above, with double gold bullion loop, gold tassels without hangers. 3rd, 4th and 5th classes- as above, with plaited gold bullion loop, and black ostrich feather border. No tassels.Sword- of regulation pattern with black scabbard and gilt mountings .Sword knot- gold lace strap with bullion tassel .Sword belt- white web, with white cloth frog . Blue cloth frog in levée dress.Buckles (knee and shoe)- gilt, rose, shamrock, thistle pattern (by 1912).Gloves are not worn.
Levée DressCoatee- dark blue cloth, single-breasted, stand collar. The collar and gauntlet are of scarlet cloth, and the pocket flaps of blue cloth. Nine buttons up the front (which button), two at the waist behind, and two at the bottom of the back skirts. Black silk linings. A white collar may be worn inside the collar of the coat. Privy Counsellors, 1st cl, 2nd cl, 3rd cl, gold oakleaf embroidery on the collar, cuffs, pocket flaps, and between the buttons at the waist behind, the same as the full dress coat. The 4th and 5th classes have embroidery on the collar, cuffs, back and pocket flaps. The embroidery for both classes is the same on cuffs and pocket flaps, 1" wide, within a saw edge. The back embroidery is also identical in both classes. The collar of the 4th class have saw edge and front embroidery 3" long, and that of the 5th class a saw edge only. Buttons- gilt, mounted, the Royal Arms (without supporters) surmounted by the imperial crown.Trousers- dark blue cloth, with stripes of gold oakleaf lace on the side seams. The width of lace as follows:- Privy Counsellor, 1st class, 2nd class 2½" wide. The 3rd class 2" wide. The 4th and 5th classes 1¾" wide.Boots- plain military, patent leather.Hat, Sword, Sword knot as full dress.Sword belt- white web, with blue cloth frog.Gloves are not worn.Great coat or cloak- dark blue cloth of any substance.
* [http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page4041.asp] gov.uk page describing Windsor uniform
Cambridge University Heraldic and Genealogical Society
* [http://www.ltgov.bc.ca/office/uniform.htm] Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
* " [http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=60ca7e1b-21e4-49b2-98e2-efa3b8417f9d&k=18737 First Nations drums welcome B.C.'s new lieutenant-governor] ", Lt Governor of British Columbia wearing said uniform on 1 October 2007
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