At the invitation of the queen, much of the set, including the seating, was designed by her brother-in-law Antony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon with help from the stage designer Carl Toms (1927-99) and John Pound, the principal design officer with the Supplies Division of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works.
Made in vermillion-stained beech and plywood, embossed with the Prince of Wales motif in gold leaf and upholstered in Welsh tweed, some 4000 chairs were made by the Remploy factory in Bridgend. They were sold flat-packed after the ceremony for £12 each with invited guests given first refusal.
Investiture chairs make sporadic appearances at auction but 10 were offered for sale by Rogers Jones (24% buyer’s premium) in Cardiff as part of The Welsh Sale on March 21.
One set of four (three of them still in their original packing boxes) were sold together on thesaleroom.com with an official souvenir programme for £1200, while another quartet which included the loose gold-braided and tasselled cushions now often missing brought £1300.
A pair of investiture chairs and a single cushion consigned directly from a member of the Vivian family took £500.