Botanical pattern on the cloth has a striking resemblance to that on a bodice worn by Elizabeth in the ‘Rainbow Portrait’ of 1602.
London: A beautifully embroidered fabric — which was cut up and used for hundreds of years as an altar cloth in a 13th-century UK church — has been identified as the only surviving piece from the wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth I.
Experts, who spent a year studying the textile, said that it was once a skirt worn by the Tudor queen, making it the only known survivor of her famously lavish wardrobe.
“When I saw it for the first time I knew immediately that it was something special. As I examined it, I felt as though I had found the Holy Grail, the Mona Lisa of fashion, said Eleri Lynn, curator of historic dress at Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), who first discovered the cloth hanging on a wall in the church of St Faith last year.
The botanical pattern on the cloth has a striking resemblance to that on a bodice worn by Elizabeth in the ‘Rainbow Portrait’ of 1602. It is possible that the skirt, which cannot be seen in the painting, is part of the same outfit, Lynn said.
The embroidered design, featuring roses, daffodils and other flowers, was typical of the late 16th century, she said. It was made from cloth of silver, which, under Tudor sumptuary law, could only be worn by the monarch or immediate members of the royal family, The Telegraph reported.