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Richard Seddon's Privy Counsellor uniform

Coatee (short coat) for Seddon's Civil Uniform, Full Dress
Coatee (short coat) for Seddon's Civil Uniform, Full Dress 1897, Hill Brothers, England. Gift of Dame Elizabeth Knox Gilmer, 1955. Te Papa

Premier Richard John Seddon (1845–1906) led New Zealand at the turn of the 20th century. He wore this majestic uniform at grand events such as Queen Victoria's 1897 Diamond Jubilee (celebration of 60 years of reign).

Seddon was passionately committed to the British Empire, as most New Zealanders were. He revelled in its pomp and ceremony at every opportunity.

The uniform was Seddon's official attire for state occasions after being appointed a Privy Counsellor (member of an executive group of advisors to the reigning monarch). The uniform included a coatee (short coat), knee breeches, a bicorne (cocked hat), shoes, a sword, and medals. 

© Copyright Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand.