House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt declined to wear the traditional black-and-gold privy councillor court dress in a bid for a “feminised” look at King Charles III’s Coronation.
Mordaunt opted to wear a teal dress and cape embroidered with ferns by specialist atelier Hand and Lock, who worked on royal outfits before the occasion.
The Commons leader has revealed she was on a drive to promote a “modern” look at the historic occasion, as well as “royal and marvellous and mystical and spiritual”.
Speaking on the Times Red Box podcast, she said the traditional look, worn at coronations by her male predecessors, would not be “appropriate” in a modern setting.
Mordaunt opted for a 'modern' look on King Charles's big day
She said: “What my predecessor would have worn is the old court dress, which the whole front of the tunic is embroidered with heavy gold.
“I have had something made, and it will be modern, it will definitely be made for a woman, but it will also be lifting the embroidery of the privy council.”
The look generated a buzz on social media, with a number of prominent figures rushing to comment on Mordaunt’s appearance.
Labour MP Emily Thornberry tweeted: “Got to say it, Penny Mordaunt looks damn fine! The sword bearer steals the show.”
Penny Mordaunt declined traditional robes in a bid for a 'modernised' look
Author Caitlin Moran added: “Penny Mordaunt’s sword is the ‘Pippa Middleton’s Bum’ of the Coronation.”
The 50-year-old MP had to bear a large ceremonial sword, known as the sword of state, as part of her duties.
She added on the podcast: “I’m doing a number of things. One of them will be carrying the sword of state, which is the heaviest sword, so I’ve been doing some press-ups to train for that. That represents his authority. It was one of two swords made for Charles II and only one survives.
“It has to be carried at right angles to the body, hence the need to do press-ups – pointing upwards, out in front of you, for some time. We practised with some replicas that were weighted, and it’s a huge honour to do it.”
Mordaunt harked back to her time in the Navy, saying her experiences allowed her time to practice “standing for long periods of time, not fainting.”:
The ceremony saw Mordaunt granted a major role as the Commons leader also holds the title of Lord President of the Council.
Liz Truss handed her the role when she took office in September, and despite the prime ministerial change that has occurred since, Mordaunt has been able to remain in the post.
She has been a busy figure since taking on the role with parts to play at the Queen’s funeral and now, the King’s Coronation.
Following the Queen’s death, Mordaunt said: “I’ve had the privilege of supporting the Royal Family through some big moments and it’s been a huge privilege to do that.
“I arrived for work as usual on Monday as a junior trade minister, on Tuesday I was promoted to this role, on Wednesday we tried to have a privy council with her late Majesty the day before she passed, such was her dedication to duty. Thursday she sadly passed away. On the Saturday, I was delivering the accession council.”