The Dorchester to Recreate 1953 Coronation Decorations

The Dorchester will recreate the decorations used for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III. The decorations on the hotel’s façade will mark the start of the celebrations throughout the hotel, including a celebratory afternoon tea and specialty menus.

The original decorations for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 were created by British stage set designer Oliver Messel; that same year, the designer unveiled a luxury suite within The Dorchester, which is still protected by the hotel. His design for the coronation decorations included draping across the hotel’s balconies, created to make the hotel’s concave façade look like the interior of a theater seen from the stage.

The Promenade will present a royal take on its afternoon tea. Available over the coronation weekend, from May 5–8, 2023, executive pastry chef Michael Kwan has created a delicate selection of themed cakes, accompanied by sandwiches and a glass of champagne. Coronation Afternoon Tea includes a glass of champagne and a gift.

Guests of the hotel can also visit the new Cake & Flowers boutique, with its own entrance on the Deanery Street corner of the hotel, where in-house designer florist Philip Hammond will create a floral window display. As a tribute to The Coronation Emblem, Hammond will also create floral arrangements throughout the hotel unifying the flora of the four nations of the U.K.; the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and the shamrock of Northern Ireland.

Vesper Bar will serve a special “Sovereign Martini” to mark the celebrations. King Charles III made his first public appearance at The Dorchester in 1970, and has since attended many times for charitable dinners and state banquets. On May 6, The Dorchester will have celebrated three royal coronations, the first in 1937 for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, where special stands were built on the hotel’s rooftops for spectators to view the procession. For Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, in addition to the elaborate façade, Oliver Messel created huge crowns which were suspended from the ceiling in the lounge and ballroom.

Just in time for the coronation, The Dorchester has unveiled its newly transformed ground floor following the most comprehensive renovation in three decades inclusive of the forecourt, garden, lobby, The Promenade, Vesper Bar and Artists’ Bar.

The Dorchester’s façade will be transformed on April 20, with the decorations lasting until May 19, 2023.

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