Charles could sleep in unique bed fit for King at Parliament on eve of Coronation Day


The tradition to sleep at the Palace of Westminster the night before the coronation in nearby Westminster Abbey dates back to the days of William the Conqueror.

King Charles III will be offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sleep in a unique bedroom in Parliament on the eve of his momentous Coronation Day. Charles, 74, will be offered the chance to rest his head in the luxurious State Bed, within the State Apartments of Speaker’s House, on the night before he is crowned on May 6.

Beautifully carved and embroidered, the bed was built to honour a tradition dating back to the days of William the Conqueror, according to the Daily Mail.

The tradition saw monarchs sleep at the Palace of Westminster the night before the coronation in nearby Westminster Abbey.

But George IV is the only monarch to have actually slept at the Speaker’s House in 1821 – and that was in a completely different bed.

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King Charles could sleep in a bedroom at Parliament on the eve of his coronation (Image: GETTY )

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King Charles will be crowned on May 6 (Image: Getty)

In 1834, the old Houses of Parliament were destroyed in a fire.

This meant the Gothic Revival replacement wasn’t ready for Queen Victoria’s accession.

The State Bed was eventually designed in 1859 by Augustus Pugin and carved from walnut by John Braund in 1859. It measures 12ft high and 7ft 6ins wide and features the royal crest.

Until 1943, the stately bed remained in the State Bedroom on the first floor of Speaker’s House.

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Charles and Camilla will be crowned at the King’s Coronation Day (Image: Getty)

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It was then moved into a store sold and went missing.

But it was discovered decades later in 1979 in a west Wales wooden mill after an appeal by the Victoria and Albert Museum

Owners Ron and Wendy Martin told how they had slept in the bed for 20 years – and their son Benedict was even born in it at their Northamptonshire manor house.

The pair had bought at an auction for less than £100 in the 1950s and turned down an offer from the Government of an estimated £5,000 for it.

They then moved to a cottage in Maesllyn, Ceredigion and their beloved bed was too large which meant they made the decision to store it in the next-door mill.

About 1,500 members of the public will get to opportunity to visit the State Bed ahead of the King’s Coronation after tickets went on sale for tours of the State Apartments between April 1 and 15.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle described the bed as a “national treasure”.

He said: “Visitors to Speaker’s House are always surprised when they see this huge, beautifully carved bed with its embroidered fabric, and hear about its fascinating history.

“We believe that it was stored away with other heritage furniture during the Second World War to keep it safe from bombing raids, which destroyed the House of Commons Chamber in 1941.

“The fact that something as big as this could go ‘missing’ and end up in a Welsh woolen mill years later seems quite incredible, but it just adds to the intrigue surrounding the bed. “

“It really is a national treasure, and I am delighted even more people will be able to see it during tours of Speaker’s House.”


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