Daily Archives: April 13, 2011

18th Century Costume Archives: Catherine the Great’s Coronation Gown

The gown is made of luxuriant silver silk, with lace sleeves and a lace bertha around the neckline.  Embroidered golden eagles serve as the repeated pattern throughout with ermine trim at the hem.  The blue sash, worn from the right shoulder to the waist, represents the Order of St. Andrew the First Called and is principally bestowed upon the royal family.

Her specially commisioned crown is a byzantine throwback, with two half-spheres joined by two rows of pearls and a garland of oak leaves and acorns.  It contains a whopping 4,936 diamonds and a giant 415 carat ruby perched on top.  Good thing the queen had a strong neck!

Today, Catherine’s coronation gown is kept at the Kremlin Armoury.