The Royal Mews – Buckingham Palace Hermes scarf from the 1993 Fall Winter Collection was designed by Jean de Fougerolle. 1993 was the Year of the Horse for Hermes and many equestrian themed scarves were issued that year.
Among them Pony Express and Les Cheyennes both by Kermit Oliver, the Chevaux de Trait by Laurence Bourthoumieux (AKA Toutsy) and the Courbettes et Cabrioles by Francoise Faconnet was reissued that year (original issue 1962).
But back to the The Royal Mews – Buckingham Palace Hermes carre.
This design was dedicated to the Royal Mews, located at Buckingham Palace since the 1820s. The Royal Mews is a compound that houses the royal stables, the royal carriage house and today the royal garage.
During his visit to London in 1990 Jean Louis Dumas toured the Royal Mews. It is no surprise that the Hermes chairman and artistic director was moved not just by the stables themselves, but by the exquisite coaches he encountered there. With the horse and coach having played such an important role in the history of the Fashion House, it was only natural that The Mews should inspire a modern Hermes carre. Dumas enlisted his longtime friend and artist Jean de Fougerolle, who after visiting the Mews himself, created this beautiful scarf.
The design was presented to H.M. the Queen Elizabeth II at the 1993 Royal Windsor Horse Show and was exclusively available in Britain for the remainder of that year before its worldwide release.
The scarf pays homage to the stables and five of the royal coaches housed at the carriage house.
The entrance to The Mews is at the center of the scarf flanked by the Queen’s Equerry and the Master of Horses, who are facing each other. The five royal coaches, The Gold State Coach, Queen Alexandra’s State Coach, the Irish State Coach, the Barouche and the 1902 State Landau Royal Mews carriage form a wide circle around the center.
The 1902 State Landau Royal Mews carriage perhaps the most recognizable was used in the last three royal wedding ceremonies. In 1981 by Prince Charles and Diana, the Princess of Wales, on 29 April 2011 by Prince William and Catherine Middleton and of course very recently by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after their May 19th nuptials.
The Royal Mews wasn’t always at the Buckingham Place location nor was it stables initially. Originally built in 1377 about a mile or so at Charing Cross, the Mews was a place where royal hawks were kept during their moulting/molting (mew) season. After a fire destroyed the building in 1534, it was rebuild as a stable but kept its former name.
Today the stables are home to two horse breeds used to pull carriages. The Windsor Greys named after Windsor Castle where they used to be kept in Victorian times, are exclusively used for H.M. and the royal family. The other breed, the Cleveland Bays are used for everyday tasks and for other dignitaries presenting themselves to Her Majesty.
As I mentioned today The Royal Mews, in addition to being the royal stable and home to its historic royal carriages, has a third function. It also houses and maintains a more modern mode of transport, the royal fleet of bespoke Bentley and Rolls Royce limousines. It is here that all royal travel arrangements are made.
The Royal Mews – Buckingham Palace Hermes scarf is a gorgeous carre rich in both storytelling and history.