Robe of office

Some robe of office of the Austrian Emperor, with matching fancy hat.

What I found super interesting is that not only did the emperors wear different robes for different occasions (the protocol eludes me, of course—a gold and red robe was also on display nearby, together with a sword) but the robes themselves changed every once in a while! We saw designers’ sketches for updated looks, which it seems the emperors could order up once in a while.

I guess I understand the practicalities: not all emperors had the same build, and clothes don’t last forever—one or two of these fancy robes had been damaged by the elements or by moths. So as long as you’re replacing robes, why not keep things fresh?

But it’s interesting how the things that you might thing should be timeless, really aren’t. Ceremony and royalty are a process, constantly reinventing themselves.

   19 May 2023
   1/30s    f/2.8   17mm   ISO 10000
A full-length robe of office, green and gold and lined with white ermine; a plumed hat is on a stand nearby