The coronation of the British King Charles III. casts her shadow: The restorer of London's Westminster Abbey, Krista Blessley, has been busy working on the coronation chair for months. "It's really unique as a conservator to work on something that belongs to a collection while still being used in its original function," Blessley told the PA news agency.
The more than 700-year-old "coronation chair" plays a major role in the history of the monarchy and the United Kingdom. Henry VIII, Charles I, Victoria and Elizabeth II were also crowned on it.
The gilded oak seat, decorated with colored glass, has been through a lot over the centuries: the daubing of names or initials left by schoolboys in the 18th and 19th centuries is considered legendary. A tourist is also said to have immortalized himself with the words "P. Abbott slept in this chair 5-6 July 1800". According to the report, the throne survived a bomb attack in 1914, but not unscathed - a small corner is said to have broken off at the time.
According to PA, the coronation chair was handcrafted around 1300 for the then King Edward I. However, experts disagree as to when it was officially used for a coronation for the first time. In 1399, this was definitely the case at the coronation of Henry IV, although the throne is said to have been installed earlier.
Restorer Blessley has spent the past four months cleaning the chair's surface with special sponges and cotton swabs, trying to restore the flaking gilding as best as possible. There are also setbacks: "If the humidity changes slightly, the wood and the complex layered structure change," explained the expert. Some steps would have to be repeated after just a few months.