10 Sep 2010

Gold State Coach

The Gold State Coach is an enclosed, eight horse-drawn carriage used by the British Royal Family. It was built in the London workshops of Samuel Butler in 1762 and has been used at the coronation of every British monarch since George IV. The coach's great age, weight, and lack of maneuverability have limited its use to grand state occasions such as coronations, royal weddings, and the jubilee of a monarch.

The coach weighs four tons and is 24 feet (7.3 m) long and 12 feet (3.7 m) high. It is gilded and features painted panels by Giovanni Cipriani and rich gilded sculpture including three cherubs on the roof (representing England, Ireland and Scotland) and four tritons, one at each corner (representing Britain's imperial power). The body of the coach is slung by braces covered with Morocco leather and decorated with gilt buckles. The interior is lined with velvet and satin. The Gold State Coach is pulled by a team of eight horses wearing the Red Morocco harness. Originally driven by a coachman, the horses are now led by riders walking alongside them. When not in use the coach is kept at the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace.

1 comment:

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

I haven't seen that card anywhere before. It's beautiful.