Archive Item of the Week: The Royal Connection

Welcome to Archive item of the week:  where we delve into Guildford Cathedral Archives to highlight some of the unique items within the collection

This week: The Royal Connection.  Our People’s Cathedral Archivist dips into the archive collection to share with you some interesting objects with a Royal Connection.

Guildford Cathedral was consecrated in 1961 in a magnificent ceremony attended by all the great and the good.  In attendance at this glorious ceremony was HM The Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

Queen at consecration copyright unknown (2).jpg

For this special occasion two cushions were made for the Royals for the ceremony and these now reside in the archive collections.


Both cushions are identical and are printed with the Royal Crest in glorious colours that really do stand out even after all these years.


This is not where the history of these cushions stops however.  They were once again called into service in 2011 when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made a return visit to Guildford Cathedral as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Photography by Michael Ellis, Ginger Cat Photography

Who knows if they might be used once again?

Although textile items like this may not necessarily spring to mind when you think of archive collections, it is often the case that archives develop to take on responsibility to more than just ‘traditional’ paper items.  And in the case of Guildford Cathedral Archives there are quite a few items, and in particular textile items under the care and preservation of the archivist.  These cushions are very special and certainly do stand out amongst the rest