Why Prince Philip was missing key coronation accessory in sweet throwback snap

Prince Philip was missing a key coronation detail in a throwback photo of him and Queen Elizabeth on her big day in 1953…

Prince Philip was missing a key coronation detail in a throwback photo. Seen here he officially opens the new Cellarium café
(Image credit: Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Prince Philip was missing a key coronation accessory in a sweet throwback snap from 1953 and it’s something King Charles and Queen Camilla weren’t seen without on their big day.

King Charles and Queen Camilla’s spectacular coronation in May gave fans an intriguing glimpse into the ceremonial details and regalia involved in such an important state occasion. From the important diamonds added into Queen Camilla’s coronation crown to the crown, scepter and orb that also took pride of place in King Charles’ coronation portraits, there was so much to take in. The same could be said of the late Queen Elizabeth’s coronation back in 1953, however there’s one significant accessory that Prince Philip was missing during parts of the day. 

Taking to social media on June 2, the Royal Collection Trust honored Queen Elizabeth on the 70 year anniversary of her coronation with a throwback snap. In the special picture, she can be seen wearing the State Diadem as she traveled with the late Duke of Edinburgh to Westminster Abbey.

Prince Philip can be seen sitting supportively beside her as they made this highly-anticipated journey via the Gold State Coach watched by crowds of fans. The caption reflected that “similar scenes” were seen in London as King Charles and Queen Camilla returned to Buckingham Palace last month. 

But there’s one noticeable difference between the throwback snap and photos of Their Majesties’ big day. Prince Philip was missing a key coronation accessory in 1953 as he doesn’t look to be wearing his robe whilst Queen Elizabeth is wearing her Robes of State.

Both King Charles and Queen Camilla could be seen wearing robes from the moment they left the Palace in the Diamond Jubilee coach. In contrast, the Royal Family website explained that Prince Philip “wore full-dress Naval uniform for the journey to and from the Abbey”.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip and King Charles and Queen Camilla on their respective coronation days

(Image credit: Future// Image 1: Photo by Norman Potter/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images// Image 2: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

It was “while in the Abbey" that the Duke of Edinburgh "wore a coronet and his Duke's robe over his uniform". So it’s only after he arrived at the Abbey that Prince Philip put on his robe, explaining why it was missing in the historic photo. Although he was also married to a monarch like Queen Camilla, their situations at the coronation were very different. 

Queen Camilla was also crowned on May 6 as reigning King Charles’ Queen Consort. This was the life-changing privilege Queen Camilla got that the Duke of Edinburgh was denied, as he wasn’t King Consort as he didn’t automatically inherit the male equivalent of Queen Elizabeth’s titles when they married. 

Prince Philip attends the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II

(Image credit: Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

She bestowed the title of Duke of Edinburgh upon him in 1947 and it was a Duke’s robes and coronet he wore inside the Abbey on coronation day. Whilst they weren’t visible in the recent throwback photo, they did go on display in the Royal Collection Trust-curated Prince Philip: A Celebration exhibition at Windsor Castle in 2021.

This year marks 70 years since Queen Elizabeth’s coronation which took place the year after she ascended the throne in February 2952.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!