A Pair of Charles, Prince of Wales "Investiture Chairs" Designed by Lord Snowdon, G.C.V.O., F.R.S.A, R.D.I. (1930–2017)
Vermillion red stained beachwood and laminated and bent ash with stamped gold-leaf detailing. Together with a pair of red tweed covered and gold tasseled cushions and two original "Official Souvenir" programmes and a further Investiture brochure.
The chairs & cushions manufactured by Remploy, Bridgend
Width: 21 in / 53.5 cm
Depth: 21 in / 53.5 cm
Height: 31.5. in / 80 cm
Seat Height: 16.5 in / 42 cm
Beachwood frame with steam moulded ash laminate seat, stained red with stamped and gilded detail of the 'Prince of Wales' feathers and the motto 'ICH DIEN' ['I Serve']. Together with a pair of Welsh tweed covered cushions with, gold rope and tassels, a button with 'Prince of Wales Feathers' motif to the centre. Along with two 36-page Investiture "Official Souvenir" programmes and a further Investiture brochure.
The investiture of King Charles III as Prince of Wales by his mother Queen Elizabeth II, took place in Caernarfon Castle on 1st July 1969. The guests who attended the ceremony were seated on these highly distinctive and now much sought after chairs which were designed by the Prince's uncle, Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon (1930-2017) (who was married to the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret). The cushions were provided to the various attendees for additional comfort and are now extremely hard to find. Also included are two original 36-page "Official Souvenir" programmes, setting out the order of service, readings etc.
Originally, 4,600 chairs were manufactured for the ceremony by Remploy. After the event chairs were available for guest to purchase for £12 (which helped to off-set the costs of the event ). The cushions were provided to various attendees for additional comfort and to those ticket holders sitting in the stands or on the rough stones of Caernarfon Castle. After the ceremony the cushion became the property of the ticket holder at a cost of 5 or 10 guineas. There were only 2,725 of the cushions available, after the ceremony they became the property of ticket holders at a cost of 5 or 10 guineas. The cushions have, therefore, always been more scarce than the chairs.
The chairs are generally in good condition with the expected time-worn patina, consistent with age and light-usage. There are acceptable knocks, the arms are dirty and the vermilion woodstain is thinning at the edges. It is thought that the original tweed upholstery and padding is beneath the slightly later silk fabric covering which has been tacked over the seats. This could easily be reversed by one of upholsterers who specialise in these chairs (such as 'Rosehip Upholstery' in Penarth). The cushions are in immaculate condition, having been boxed since they were new and never used. The programmes and brochure provide an added bonus.
A good pair of these highly distinctive and now much sought after chairs. The additional elements, notably the Investiture cushions which are now especially scarce, elevate these to being a particularly attractive set.
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