Where would any Royal event in London be without the splendor of the horse drawn state coach processions?
They are used to carry the British and visiting royalty, world leaders and ambassadors on ceremonial and state visits.
If you are lucky enough to be in London when one such ceremony takes place then you can get a good view, however an even better chance is to see them close up is at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace.
Here the various state and royal coaches are in their storage locations and you are within a few feet of them to enjoy the quality craftsmanship and fine detail used through out.
The highlight for many is the coach in which Lady Diana Spencer rode on her wedding day it’s also the coach that the Queen used for hers too.
Glowing in gold leaf is the star exhibit. The coach that George III commissioned in the 18th century that is the show-stopper! Hoping to use the coach for his own coronation and wedding. However it was not ready in time and his first official use of it was therefore, when he attended his next state opening of parliament.
Weighing in at several tonnes the aptly named ‘Gold State Coach’ is a work of art with fine painted panels on either side just to add to its glitz everywhere else is covered in gold leaf. Beauty on the outside but reportedly having a seasickness inducing rocking motion when in use for those travelling inside and in which Queen Victoria refused to travel.
Used for coronations for the last 200 years including for the Queen in 1953 and also for her golden jubilee in 2002.
Although the latest coach in the royal mews made in Australia is the ‘Diamond Jubilee Coach’ and its crammed with the latest in technology and materials. Its body is made from aluminum rather than wood. No dodgy rides here it has a top rate suspension system using hydraulic stabilisers, electric windows, central heating and air-conditioning.
As well as the coaches the horses that draw them can be seen in the mews stables along with some of the uniforms and harnesses used in the process.
Access is via the entrance in Buckingham Palace Road its open from February until the end of November. Summer period hours are from 10am until 5pm although in spring and autumn it closes at 4pm.
It costs £10 per adult with OAP reductions of 80p, Under 17’s/ Disabled £5.80, Under 5’s free and family tickets £25.80.