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The Sovereign's Throne

The Sovereign's Throne is one of the most important items of furniture in the Palace of Westminster. The elaborately carved woodwork is gilded, inset with rock crystals and upholstered in sumptuous red velvet and intricate embroidery. John Webb of Bond Street constructed the throne to A.W.N. Pugin's design in 1847. Pugin was most likely influenced in his design of this throne by St Edwards Chair, popularly known as the Coronation Chair, which sits in Westminster Abbey and was first used by Edward II in 1308. The Coronation Chair is the earliest surviving example of an English throne and Pugin could not have failed to have been inspired by it.

In 1901 the embroidery was revived by Holland & Sons and in the same year, in a matter of weeks, a second throne, known as the consort's throne, was created. Almost identical to the sovereign's throne, but an inch shorter, the consort's throne is brought back to the Palace of Westminster once a year for State Opening of Parliament from its permanent home in Houghton Hall, Norfolk.

The sovereign's throne is used during each State Opening of Parliament by the Monarch.


The Sovereign's Throne

Catalogue number

POW 08031