KING Charles and Queen Camilla will arrive at their coronation in a smooth, modern horse-drawn coach — then return to Buckingham Palace in a 1762 bone-shaker.
They will go from the Diamond Jubilee coach, with comfy seats and shock absorbers, to the Gold State Coach whose ride was described by Queen Victoria as “distressing”.
The coach, which carried Queen Elizabeth II to her crowning in 1953, creaks like “an old galleon”.
Martin Oates, senior carriage restorer at the Royal Mews, said: “It’s not quite a washing machine, but where other vehicles just go from back to front, this moves from side to side.”
The carriage has been used at every coronation since 1831, but even William IV — known as the Sailor King — likened it to “being aboard a ship tossing in a rough sea”.
Queen Victoria complained of its “distressing oscillation” and often refused to use it.
Elizabeth II described her bumpy journey to and from the coronation as “horrible”.
The wooden coach, covered in a thin layer of gold leaf, was first used by George III.
It weighs four tonnes and needs eight horses to pull it.
It will take 20 people to push it out of its home in the Royal Mews ready for the journey.
It was last seen on the streets of London for the Platinum Jubilee pageant, when it travelled empty.
In contrast the lighter Diamond Jubilee coach, pulled by six horses, was first used at the State Opening of Parliament in June 2014.
It has air conditioning, heating and power windows and its aluminium body is steadied by six hydraulic stabilisers.
Mr Oates explained: “It’s much like a car.”
But in a nod to tradition the seat handrails are from the Royal Yacht Britannia and it also contains fragments from Henry VIII’s warship the Mary Rose, Sir Isaac Newton’s apple tree and the Antarctic bases of Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton.
The gilded crown on the top of the coach is carved from oak from HMS Victory, and can hold a camera to film journeys.
New coronation details were revealed with less than a month before the big day on Saturday, May 6.
The Palace said the King’s procession, accompanied by The Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry, will depart Buckingham Palace through the Centre Gate, and proceed down The Mall.
It will pass under Admiralty Arch and along the south side of Trafalgar Square, then down Whitehall and along Parliament Street, arriving at the Sanctuary of Westminster Abbey, where the service will begin at 11am.
The grander procession — then called the Coronation Procession — from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace will take the same route in reverse.
It will include Armed Forces from across the Commonwealth and the British Overseas Territories.
The route measures 1.3 miles — around a quarter of the length of the late Queen’s five-mile celebratory journey.
That lasted two hours and took in Piccadilly, Oxford Street and Regent Street.
The Palace also confirmed Queen Camilla will hold a gold sceptre surmounted by a cross and a second staff made of ivory and topped by a dove.
There had been speculation this sceptre — made in 1685 for the wife of James II — might be dropped from the ceremony, given Prince William’s anti-ivory campaigning.
But Buckingham Palace said: “As with any historical collection of its size, it is to be expected that the Royal Collection includes items that contain ivory as this reflected the taste at the time.”
Regalia will include The Jewelled Sword of Offering, made in 1820 and seen only at coronations, and the Sovereign’s Orb, representing the globe.
The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross — which holds the priceless Cullinan I diamond — will be placed in The King’s right hand.
The oldest item in the service is the Coronation Spoon, first recorded in 1349.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will use it to anoint King Charles with Holy Oil.