When King Charles appeared at the annual Braemar Gathering this weekend, it was notable for being his first appearance at the event that Queen Elizabeth so loved almost exactly a year after her death. However, there was another first that came into view when the King was pictured enjoying the games from the royal pavilion—a new tartan created specially for him.
The King Charles III tartan was designed to mark the coronation and is intended to reflect the King’s strong support for Scottish culture and dress, a statement from the Scottish Tartans Authority said. The design is based on the famed Balmoral tartan which is said to have been designed by Prince Albert and was frequently worn by the late Queen when she was in Scotland. The design includes a central triple stripe motif and the colors have been matched to natural dyes of 18th century tartans, perhaps reflecting the King’s fondness of traditional craft.
The new tartan was on the King’s wool kilt at the Braemar Gathering this weekend, which he paired with dark red socks and a beige shirt and waistcoat. Queen Camilla sat to his left in a sage green checked outfit by couturier Mr Roy. Princess Anne was on the King’s right in a red top and dark green kilt.
“The green, blue and red tartan was designed by The Scottish Tartans Authority earlier this year to mark the occasion of the coronation and in recognition of His Majesty’s strong support in preserving the culture and traditions of Highland Dress and Scottish Tartans,” the Sottish Tartans Authority said. “The unique design presented to His Majesty, is based on the Balmoral tartan sett which dates from c.1850 and continues to be worn by the King and members of the royal family today. The new tartan has been officially registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans which is administered by the National Records of Scotland.”
The creation of the tartan follows a long tradition of tartans associated with the royal family. Perhaps the most recognizable is the bright red Royal Stewart tartan which was worn by King George IV in 1822 and is still a royal favorite today. Because it is such a popular tartan it was not possible to make it exclusive to the royals, however the Balmoral tartan can still only be worn by members of the royal family or the piper to the sovereign. It is not yet clear whether there are such restrictions on the King Charles III tartan. Other recently-created tartans include the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee tartan which was chosen and approved by her for the event.
The Braemar Gathering is a celebration of Highland Games held on the first Saturday in September. It has been attended regularly by the royals for more than 150 years. It was one of Queen Elizabeth's favorite events in her calendar as she spent every summer at nearby Balmoral Castle. The King is expected to mark the anniversary of her death and his accession privately at the castle on Friday September 8.
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