Many of the embroideries created by the RSN are on display throughout the UK in stately homes, churches, private homes and public collections. Here we’ve listed some of the pieces on public display.
Overlord Embroidery – D-Day Museum, Portsmouth
Commissioned by Lord Dulverton, this depicts the Allied invasion of Normandy. Comprising 34 hand embroidered panels, the work took 20 embroiderers five years to complete from 1969-1974. The Museum has recently been refurbished and there is an additional room which features more information on the making of the panels by the RSN.
Cloth of State – King’s Apartments – Hampton Court Palace
Following the fire in the King Henry VIII’s Apartments in 1986, an extensive refurbishment was undertaken which included a new Cloth of State worked at the Royal School of Needlework. The central Coat of Arms depicting a lion, unicorn and garter is 1.20m sq and was worked in 1991-1992.
Royal Opera House Curtains – Covent Garden, London
The RSN created a replacement appliquéd royal crest for the new stage curtains in 1997.
Hammer Cloth – Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
This ceremonial piece of the Royal Coat of Arms is draped over the front of the Royal Box when The Queen is present at an event. First worked in 1878, it was returned to the RSN for repair in 1962, 1989 and most recently in 1999 when the original crest was transferred onto new ground fabric.
Wells Cathedral, Somerset
Five copes and six altar frontals were designed by Jane Lemon and worked by the RSN Studio in 1999 – 2001.
Ceremonial Woolsack – Royal Hospital Chelsea Museum, London
To celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, this piece was sponsored by a private donor and the Woolmen, Broderers and Carpenters city livery companies. The RSN embroidered the liveries’ coats of arms, the donor’s and the Royal Hospital’s emblem. These were applied to the woolsack which is made from the same red wool baize as the Chelsea Pensioner’s uniform. The woolsack supports a new ceremonial mace that was also commissioned in celebration of the Golden Jubilee.
Canterbury Cathedral, Kent
In 2005 the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) commissioned the Studio to design and produce the All Seasons and Lenten altar frontal.
Dover Castle, Kent – English Heritage
2009 for the re-presentation of The Great Hall, Dover Castle. Six large pieces were produced in an extremely short timescale including the King’s Hall backcloth; a canopy and tester; the Guest Hall backcloth and a standard and altar frontal. These were completed with the help of volunteers from the RSN Certificate Course.
Altar Frontal and pulpit fall for the Royal Anglian Regimental Chapel, Warley, Essex
Worked in 2009, the piece celebrates the merging of the Royal Anglian and East Anglian regiments.
Te Deum Altar Frontal – Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire
The restoration work was completed in April 2011 and the altar frontal was seen on BBC Songs of Praise on Easter Sunday 2011.
Other significant RSN work can be seen around the country in parish churches, cathedrals, stately homes and company head offices. Many pieces are used for ceremonial events by city livery companies and for major state and community occasions.
The RSN has made coronation regalia for all the British monarchy since Edward VII in 1902. Most recently, the RSN designed and embroidered the purple robe of state for Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation in 1953. All these pieces belong to The Royal Collection Trust and can sometimes be seen on display in specialist exhibitions.