Following on from our previous post about the design for the Coronation of Edward VIII that was unfortunately never executed due to Edward’s abdication, this week’s post is about a carpet Templeton’s did make for the Coronation of King George VI, which took place on 12 May 1937, the date previously intended for Edward’s coronation.
As the second son of King George V, Prince Albert (as he was previously known) was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. But following Edward’s shock abdication, George VI ascended the throne and was, somewhat reluctantly, thrust into the spotlight – a disposition which has since gained him the title “the reluctant King”. George VI, as well as Edward and “his Mrs Simpson”, seem to be enjoying a resurgence in popularity recently, on shows like Channel 4′s Any Human Heart, BBC 1′s Upstairs, Downstairs, and in The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth, so it seems appropriate that they should be the subject of this week’s blog too.
From the column inches devoted to the the story in staff magazine The Templetonian, J. Templeton & Co. were evidently proud to be the company trusted with manufacturing the Coronation carpet for the occasion. It states in the magazine that ‘It was felt that for the Coronation number an appropriate cover in colour should be specially created, and according designs were invited from members of the staff… and finally Mr J. M. McCreery’s design was selected. He has managed to incorporate in his design, in an appropriate way, features symbolic of both the Coronation and Templeton’s.’
King George VI, as former president of the Industrial Welfare Society, was keen to show he had not forgotten the workers in the factories and workshops of the country, so invited four representative workers – a man, a woman, a boy and a girl – to be present at his Coronation at Westminster Abbey.
A Miss Lizzie McCulloch, a setting weaver at Templeton’s Kerr Street factory with 29 years service, was selected. She was honoured to be chosen, and wrote at length and spoke on “the wireless” about her reaction to the King’s invitation and about her experience at Westminster Abbey.
For more information about the Stoddard-Templeton Design Archive click here.
Categories: Archive Services (GUAS)
Tags: 1937, abdication, Any Human Heart, archive services, archives, carpet, collections, coronation, design, Edward VIII, glasgow, GUAS, King George VI, photographs, Stoddard, Templeton, templetonian, The King's Speech, Upstairs Downstairs, Wallis Simpson