Britain's Charles to use crimson and purple robes at coronation once worn by George VI

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's King Charles will wear robes of crimson and purple silk velvet at his May 6 coronation which were once worn by his grandfather King George VI at his own coronation in 1937, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday.

Charles, who replaced Queen Elizabeth upon her death in September, will be formally crowned king at London's Westminster Abbey next week in a ceremony that will be attended by foreign heads of state and dignitaries.

Charles and his wife Camilla will wear two sets of robes at the coronation service: crimson Robes of State when they arrive and purple Robes of Estate as they leave, all conserved or made by the 334-year-old London tailors Ede and Ravenscroft.

Camilla's Robe of State was originally made for the late Queen Elizabeth, while her Robe of Estate features a new design by the Royal School of needlework that draws on the themes of nature and the environment, in a nod to the couple's affection for the natural world.

Insects, including bees and a beetle, will feature on a coronation robe for the first time, the palace said.

Pictures released by the palace showed members of the Royal School of Needlework carrying out work on a crimson velvet robe several feet long with a gold lace border, to be worn by Charles.

Another image showed Camilla's cypher being embroidered onto her Robe of Estate.

The palace has been releasing details of his coronation, which is set to be smaller in its scale than that of Elizabeth but still replete with pomp and pageantry, reflecting traditions dating back 1,000 years.

(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Daniel Wallis)