Victoria (carriage)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A "panel-boot" Victoria, with a drop-down front bench (Ellwood House, DeKalb, Illinois)

The victoria was an elegant French carriage, possibly based on a phaeton made for George IV. A victoria may be visualised as essentially a phaeton with the addition of a coachman's box-seat.

Though in English the name victoria was not employed for a carriage before 1870,[1][2] when one was imported to England by the Prince of Wales in 1869, the type was made some time before 1844. It was very popular amongst wealthy families. On a low body, it had one forward-facing seat for two passengers and a raised driver's seat supported by an iron frame, all beneath a calash top. It was usually drawn by one or two horses. This type of carriage became fashionable with ladies for riding in the park, especially with a stylish coachman installed.

Malnourished horse harnessed to a Victoria in Mumbai. (Credit: PETA India.)

Nowadays, victorias can be seen in the Chilean city of Viña del Mar, where they are rented to tourists. They are also seen in the streets of Mumbai, where they are rented out in a fashion similar to that of taxis. Due to a number of horse injuries and deaths associated with the carriages there, PETA, the Animals and Birds Charitable Trust and the Animal Welfare Board have campaigned and petitioned the Bombay High Court to ban victorias.[3] Justices responded by requiring carriage owners to acquire a "fitness certificate" for their horses.[4]

The name has been applied to the Ford Crown Victoria.



  1. ^ OED, s.v. "Victoria".
  2. ^ Farrell, Jeremy (1985), Aileen, Dr, Ribeiro, ed., Umbrellas & Parasolls, London: BT Batsford, p. 38 , asserts, however, that it was named after Princess Victoria in the 1830s.
  3. ^ Vijay Singh, "PETA Intervenes in PIL against Victoria Horse Carriages," The Times of India, 7 July 2012.
  4. ^ Shibu Thomas, "Judges Crack Whip on Horse Carriage Owners," Times of India, 27 July 2012.