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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

A display highlighting the interaction between the monarchy and the wider world


Headdress 19th century

RCIN 69682

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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In June 1911, delegates from Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia) arrived in London for the Coronation of King George V. Having travelled for almost five weeks, including a voyage aboard the steamer Mooltan with other Coronation guests, they stayed at the Westminster Palace Hotel near Westminster Abbey. According to The Times, they brought presents of 'rich Abyssinian gala vestments as worn by both sexes in Abyssinia on State occasions.’ Each was carefully inlaid with stones and jewels. These headdresses may have been among the lavish gifts. Three are of purple velvet and gold; the third is made from a ring of lion's mane with ribbons of coloured silk.