What is the Gold State Coach and will King Charles ride in it?

THE Gold State Coach evokes images of something you would expect to see royalty being transported in.

Used in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, the ornate gold carriage looks like something from a bygone era, giving the appearance of being entirely made of gold.


A hologram of the Queen was projected onto the windows during its last useCredit: Getty

What is the Gold State Coach?

The Gold State Coach was first commissioned in 1760 and has been used for coronations of monarchs for the last 200 years.

It was used for the first time on November 25, 1762 and took King George III to the opening of parliament.

Originally it was being made for his coronation but was not finished in time so was first used for after he had been crowned king.

The vehicle designed by Sir William Chambers and built by Samuel Butler is 23 feet long and 12 feet tall and weighs four tonnes.

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As a result of the sheer weight, it can only travel at a steady walking pace.

It is pulled by eight horses and despite its appearance that it is made of solid gold it is in fact of giltwood, which is gold leaf layered over wood.

It incorporates pieces of wood from historic ships and buildings such as HMS Victory, The Mary Rose, Balmoral Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

Will King Charles use it at the coronation?

When his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was crowned she used the coach to travel to and from the ceremony.

She described it as “horrible” and “not very comfortable”.

King Charles will be taking a different approach to his mother as he will only use it to travel from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace via Admiralty Arch.

Who else rides in the Gold State Coach?

He will be joined in the carriage by Queen Consort Camilla.

It has been noted that after the coronation, Camilla will be known as Queen Camilla as she will be dropping the consort part of her title once her husband is crowned king.

Nobody else is permitted to ride in the Gold State Coach other than the king and queen.

King George VI once described a trip in the coach as “One of the most uncomfortable rides I have ever had in my life”.

It is also said that Queen Victoria also used to refuse to travel in the Gold State Coach, such is the uncomfortable nature of such journeys.

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will be travelling to Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee Statecoach, which was first used in 2014.

The more modern transport does offer a much smoother ride for the pair along with also having modern luxuries such as air-conditioning.

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