A Sneak Peek at the Coronation Coach

A Sneak Peek at the Coronation Coach

Saturday 6th May 2023 will go down as a day in history. The average person in the UK will surely see very few coronations of a monarch in their lifetime and millions will be glued to the TV screens to witness all the pomp and ceremony, the regalia and the festivities.

It got us thinking here at Bumper, what car will the King be transported in during the coronation?

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach 

Ok, it’s not a car, but the main vehicle to be used during the coronation will be this six-horse-drawn carriage responsible for transporting their Royal Highnesses King Charles III and Queen Camilla from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.

Originally named the State Coach Britannia, the carriage was built in Australia by coachbuilder W. J. Frecklington, to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th birthday but the completion of the coach was delayed by nearly 8 years and instead, eventually became a commemoration for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It was used for the first time at the State Opening of Parliament on 4th June 2014. 

The coach is made from timber segments from various historic landmarks, cathedrals and castles including Kensington Palace, Holyrood Palace, Windsor Castle, Westminster Cathedral, The Tower of London and Winchester Cathedral to name but a few. It also includes material from various royal yachts, a donation from the Stone of Scone and part of the musket ball from the Battle of Waterloo! This eclectic mix of different elements of the coach surely encapsulates the broad history and heritage of the United Kingdom in such a magnificent way. 

To finish, the crown atop of the roof is carved from timber from Lord Nelson’s flagship, the door handles are individually decorated with 24 diamonds and 130 sapphires and the lamps are handmade by Edinburgh Crystal. 

The coach weighs 2.75 tons and is 18 ft long (5.5 m) and 11 ft high (3.4 m), has electric windows, heating air conditioning and hydraulic stabilisers and will be driven with 3 pairs of Windsor Grey horses. 

Perhaps without the need for an engine, tyres, gearbox or exhaust, at least this carriage is unlikely to break down during the coronation! 

Image source: Rose Lewis. Daydream Equine Art.

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