Diamond Jubilee State Coach

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A very ornate coach, black with gold trim, a coat of arms on the door
The Diamond Jubilee State Coach

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach[1] (initially known as the State Coach Britannia) is an enclosed, six-horse-drawn carriage that was made to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's 80th birthday but completion was delayed for nearly 8 years.

The carriage was built in Australia by coachbuilder W.J. Frecklington,[2] previously responsible for constructing the 1988 Australian State Coach. Although completed in 2010, the coach did not arrive in London until March 2014[3] due to issues with funding its transportation. Before that point, Buckingham Palace was claiming that Frecklington had completed the coach of his own initiative and that it was not an official royal coach, although Frecklington stated that the coach was endorsed (but not commissioned) by Buckingham Palace. However, the coach was subsequently purchased by the Royal Collection Trust for an undisclosed sum and is now part of the Royal Collection and can be officially put to use.[4]

Frecklington's intention was to create a coach that would encapsulate the history and heritage of the United Kingdom by incorporating material from Britain’s historic buildings, ships and other artifacts. The State Coach Britannia is therefore an especially wide-ranging representation of the great events, figures and objects of British history ever assembled, items directly related to more than 30 kings and queens of England, Scotland and Ireland, the most influential characters in British history, her greatest victories, her most treasured places, and her greatest contributions to the world.[5]

Frecklington funded the construction of the coach as a private initiative with some help from the Australian government in form of a $250,000 (£138,000) grant. The coach weighs 2.75 tons and is 18 ft long (5.5 m) and 11 ft high (3.4 m).[6] Like the Australian State Coach, the Britannia has electric windows, heating and hydraulic stabilisers.

In use at the 2014 State Opening of Parliament, postillion-driven with 3 pairs of Windsor Grey horses.

The coach was used for the first time at the State Opening of Parliament on 4 June 2014 after which it will be put on display in the Royal Mews.[7]

Material used[edit]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Amanda Killelea (3 June 2014). "Queen's new carriage made from Isaac Newton's apple tree, Nelson's ship and Dambusters plane". The Mirror. 
  2. ^ Henry Budd (May 27, 2011). "No missing this Royal coach on Google". The Daily Telegraph (AU). Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  3. ^ http://www.royalcentral.co.uk/thequeen/the-queens-new-state-coach-britannia-set-to-enter-royal-service-24539
  4. ^ Tom Rowley (4 June 2014). "Queen's Speech: a timeless new coach, only eight years too late". The Daily Telegraph. 
  5. ^ Jim Frecklington. "The State Coach Britannia". WJ Frecklington. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  6. ^ Rose Peterson (May 2009). "Regal Splendour Rules in the New State Coach Britannia" (PDF). Carriage Driving. 
  7. ^ ITV News (3 June 2014). "Queen's new state coach celebrates British history". ITV. 

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