A new design pays homage to the ruby-encrusted Vivier pumps the Queen wore to her 1953 coronation.
Queen Elizabeth's coronation on June 2, 1953 was a groundbreaking, visual feast—it was the first to be televised and was seen by 27 million people in the United Kingdom alone. A global audience rapturously watched every detail of the nearly three hour ceremony at Westminster Abbey. There was her white satin dress (designed by British designer Norman Hartnell), embroidered with the emblems of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in gold and silver thread.
There was the crown—well, actually, three. On her way to the Coronation, the Queen wore the George IV State Diadem, with 1,333 diamonds and 169 pearls; during the actual Coronation, the solid gold, four pound St. Edward's Crown was placed on her head; and lastly, on her return to Buckingham Palace, the Queen wore the Imperial State Crown.
And there was one smaller, yet no less splendid and significant, detail of the Queen's coronation regalia: a pair of ruby-studded, gold leather Roger Vivier pumps designed specifically for this moment.
She would be standing for nearly three hours — the shoes had to be comfortable—but also fit for a queen. Vivier— a French designer known as the Fabergé of footwear, who is credited with developing the first stiletto heel—had some experience with the royals: he designed the Queen Mother's shoes when King George VI was crowned in 1937. For Queen Elizabeth's coronation, the 46-year old Vivier incorporated a fleur de lis motif that corresponded to the Imperial State Crown. The design was kept secret until the big day.
Now, 66 years later, the Roger Vivier maison, helmed by Creative Director Gherardo Felloni, has reimagined these legendary shoes for the Spring/Summer 2020 collection, unveiled at Paris Fashion Week on Thursday. The new Vivier Queen Sandal features a reinterpretation of the original shoe's fleur de lis design.
The Queen certainly knows what she likes (she's carried the same Launer bag for years). Will she be placing a call to maison Vivier to get her hands on a new pair, perhaps for return to London after a summer spent at Balmoral Castle? We'll be watching.