1902 State Landau

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The United Kingdom's 1902 State Landau is a horse-drawn carriage with a flexible leather roof which drops in two exact halves, back and front.

A postilion landau it is drawn by six horses under the control of three postilions and has no provision for a coachman. With the top lowered and no coachman spectators have a better view of passengers than other vehicles provide.


The 1902 State Landau is owned by the United Kingdom and set aside for the monarch's use within Britain.

This carriage carries the monarch in processions at times of national celebration and official reception of a visiting head of state. [1]

In the past the monarch has provided the landau to take home the bride and groom after the marriage of the heir apparent.[2]

The largest and most splendid horse-drawn carriage—not coach—used by The Queen it was built by Hooper in 1902 for the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra and given extra interior space.[3]

The carriage currently in use is a replica built by Australia's W James Frecklington of Manly, NSW in the late 1970s. In 1987 James Frecklington built the Australian State Coach and in 2014 The Diamond Jubilee State Coach.[3]

Inclement weather[edit]

If rain threatens the Irish State Coach replaces it.[4] The Gold State Coach, sometimes referred to as the coronation coach, is the primary transport for high ceremonial events directly relating to the reigning monarch but is reputed to be uncomfortable for passengers.

Contemporary description[edit]

The description published in 1903 by Walter Gilbey, founder and chairman of the London Cart Horse Parade Society and president of the Royal Agricultural Society.

The " . . . new State landau built by Messrs Hooper for King Edward VII and first used by him on the day of his coronation procession through London.
This magnificent example of the coachbuilders' art is over 18 feet long. The body is hung upon C springs by strong braces covered with ornamentally stitched morocco; each brace is joined with a massive gilt buckle with oak leaf and crown device. Between the hind springs is a rumble for two footmen; there is no driving seat as the carriage is intended to be drawn only by horses ridden postillion. The panels are painted in purple lake considerably brighter than is usual in order to secure greater effect; marking the contours of the body and the outlines of the rumble are mouldings in wood carved and gilt, the design being one of over-lapping oak leaves.
"The door panels, back and front panels, bear the Royal Arms with crown, supporters, mantle, motto, helmet and garter. On the lower quarter panel is the collar of the Order of the Garter, encircling its star and surmounted by the Tudor crown. Springing in a slow graceful curve from the under part of the body over the forecarriage is a " splasher " of crimson patent leather. Ornamental brass lamps are carried in brackets at each of the four corners of the body.
"As regards the interior of this beautiful carriage it is upholstered in crimson satin and laces which were woven in Spitalfields; the hood is lined with silk, as better adapted than satin for folding. The rumble is covered with crimson leather. It is to be observed that with the exception of the pine and mahogany used for the panels, English-grown wood and English-made materials only have been used throughout.
"While less ornate than the wonderful "gold coach " designed by Sir Wm Chambers and Cipriani in 1761, the new State landau, in its build, proportions, and adornment, is probably the most graceful and regal vehicle ever built."[5]


  1. ^ Getty Images
  2. ^ Bloomberg
  3. ^ a b Ken Wheeling. Mr Frecklington's Magnum Opus, The Carriage Journal: Vol 54 No 2 March 2016
  4. ^ Alan Hamilton. The Royal Handbook Prentice Hall, 1986. ISBN 0855335661, 9780855335663
  5. ^ Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart. Early Carriages and Roads, Vinton and Co, London 1903

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