King Charles III and queen consort Camilla travel in modern horse-drawn carriage for coronation

04:03 PM May 06, 2023 | PTI |

King Charles III and Camilla, the queen consort, on Saturday travelled to their Coronation at Westminster Abbey in a more comfortable, relatively modern, horse-drawn carriage- the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.


A different, more traditional – but more uncomfortable – Gold State Coach will be used for his journey back to Buckingham Palace after the ceremony.

The newer Diamond Jubilee State Coach was last seen in 2019, and has only been in use for the past ten years.

It was built in Australia with air conditioning, electric windows and up-to-date hydraulic suspension, making the ride much smoother than it would have been otherwise.

Although it looks traditional from the outside, it’s made of aluminium, rather than the more traditional material of wood.


But it does incorporate pieces of wood from historic ships and buildings, including HMS Victory, the Mary Rose, Balmoral Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

”Built to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, this is the newest coach at the Mews and was first used at the State Opening of Parliament on 4 June 2014. The coach is over 5m long, weighs over 3 tonnes and needs 6 horses to pull it,” according to the Royal Collection Trust.

”Built in Australia, the Diamond Jubilee State Coach combines traditional craftsmanship and modern technology: it has an aluminium body and is prevented from swaying by six hydraulic stabilisers. The interior wooden panels of the coach are made from objects donated by over 100 historic sites and organisations from across Britain,” it said.

The seat handrails are from the Royal Yacht Britannia, and the window frames and interior panels include material from Caernarfon Castle; Canterbury Cathedral; The Mary Rose (Henry VIII’s flagship); 10 Downing Street; and the Antarctic bases of Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton. The gilded crown on the top of the coach, carved from oak from HMS Victory, can hold a camera to film journeys, it said. Another way tradition is being kept alive is through Martin Oates, who was the carriage’s brakeman.

He follows his great-grandfather who took part in the carriage procession for the coronation of George VI, his grandfather who was there for the coronation of Elizabeth II and his father for the late Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The Gold State Coach has been used in every coronation since the 1830s.


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