Now rare treasures from its collection are to be shared with the public for the first time in an exhibition to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
A special selection of pieces, including some never seen in public before, are to feature in Majesty: Monarchy and York Minster, which runs from tomorrow until the end of the year.
Among them are Chinese silks, gifted to Queen Victoria on her wedding day, and the Minster’s ancient ‘coronation chair’, believed to have once been used by Anglo-Saxon kings.
Maundy money, distributed in York by the Queen in 2012 will also feature, as will a dialect poem celebrating the coronation of Queen Victoria.
And as each piece offers an insight into the history of York Minster, the exhibition traces the influence on its present of the monarchy through time.
Helen Rawson, head of heritage at York Minster, said the cathedral has had strong Royal connections since King Edwin’s conversion to Christianity in 627AD.
As well as being the site of the wedding of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault in 1328, Richard III’s son Edward was invested at the old Archbishop’s Palace as Prince of Wales in 1483.
She said: “These associations have continued over the centuries with Queen Elizabeth II’s mother, then Duchess of York, attending the re-dedication of the famous medieval Five Sisters window in memory of the women who died in service of the British Empire during the First World War, while her husband the Duke of York, later George VI, unveiled the York City War Memorial.”
Other highlights of the exhibition include footage from the royal wedding of Prince Edward to his Yorkshire bride Katharine Worsley in 1961.
A rare manuscript part-book also features, compiled for the choir in the 18th century and featuring Handel’s anthem ‘Zadok the Priest’, which is performed at the coronation of every British monarch.
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