Artist who painted invitation for King’s coronation ‘sworn to secrecy’

Andrew Jamieson, 61, did not tell his family that he had been selected to create the artwork

Ellie Muir
Wednesday 05 April 2023 08:50 BST
What to expect from King Charles III's coronation ceremony

The artist who painted the invitation for King Charles III’s coronation has revealed that he was sworn to secrecy as he made the design.

Andrew Jamieson, 61, didn’t even tell his mother or children that he had been chosen to create the artwork for the reported 2,000 guests who will arrive at Westminster Abbey on 6 May.

His design, which was revealed to the public on Tuesday night (4 April), was painted in watercolour and gouache and recalls the coronation emblem, accompanied by illustrations of wildflowers. The artwork will be printed on recycled card with gold foil detailing.

The invitation has the text in the centre, surrounded by a colourful meadow featuring lily of the valley, cornflowers, wild strawberries, roses, bluebells and a spring of rosemary to represent remembrance.

The artist, from Bermondsey, south London, was put forward by the Art Workers’ Guild, which asked eight of its artists to submit rough designs. After a few days, he received a phone call informing him that his submission had been successful.

“I came up with the concept of a wildflower meadow, inspired by medieval books of hours and tapestries, and the motif of a green man,” he told The Times.

“Butterflies, birds, bees, anything you would see in a flower meadow. The official flowers of course — the rose, shamrock, thistle, daffodil — and there’s a sprig of rosemary in there for remembrance as well as wild strawberries.”

A lion, a unicorn and a boar - taken from the coats of arms of Charles and his consort - can be seen amongst the flowers.

The artist used the “Green Man” , an ancient figure from British folklore as inspiration behind the design
The artist used the “Green Man” , an ancient figure from British folklore as inspiration behind the design (Buckingham Palace)

An ancient figure from British folklore symbolic of spring and rebirth known as the “Green Man” is the inspiration behind the design, with the symbol situated at the bottom of the page.

The artist trained in heraldry and manuscript illumination previously and has experience painting coats of arms for people interested in their ancestry.

Jamieson also designs Royal Letters Patent and documents of state for His Majesty’s Crown Office.

The artist was told to keep his commission a secret while he was making it.

“Even my mother and kids don’t know, they’ll probably find out tomorrow when they read the newspaper,” he told the publication. “The whole thing was absolutely ‘hush, hush’. Only my wife knows but she’s been sworn to secrecy as well.”

As the invite was unveiled, Camilla’s official title as Queen Camilla – not Queen Consort – was confirmed.

She will be named Queen Camilla at King Charles III’s coronation next month.

The elaborate invitation, which was reportedly sent to 2,000 people, invites guests to attend “The Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III & Queen Camilla – By Command of the King the Earl Marshall is directed to invite…to be present at the Abbey Church of Westminster on 6th day of May 2023.”

Read more about the symbolism behind the design here.

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