Golden Coach (Netherlands)

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The Gold Coach in use during Prinsjesdag, 2014.

The Golden Coach (Dutch: Gouden Koets) is a coach owned and used by the Dutch royal family.[1] The Gold Coach is used every year to carry the Dutch monarch from the Noordeinde Palace to the Ridderzaal in order to deliver the Speech from the Throne.

History[edit]

Queen Wilhelmina received the Gold Coach at her 1898 investiture as a tribute from the citizens of Amsterdam. The coach was designed and built by the Spijker brothers, and the panels were painted by Nicolaas van der Waay. Because Queen Wilhelmina wished not to receive gifts on the day of her inauguration on September 6, 1898 she actually took receipt of the Golden Coach the following day.

The vehicle was first used on the occasion of the marriage of Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik on February 7, 1901. Since 1903 it has mainly been used once a year, in The Hague, on the third Tuesday in September, Prinsjesdag, on the occasion of the Monarch's Address.[2] In 1974 however the coach was not used.[3]

Other occasions when the carriage has been used are:

In September 2015, it was announced that the coach would undergo a major refit for the next three to four years and that the "Glass Coach" would be used where the Golden Coach would be normally used. [4]

Description[edit]

The coach is made of teak wood, much of which is covered in gold leaf. It is decorated with paintings and symbolic ornaments.[5] The coach was built in Dutch Renaissance style. It is pulled by eight horses when the reigning monarch is being carried; only six horses when other members of the royal family are travelling in the coach. Queen Wilhelmina wanted to be able to stand upright in the coach, which explains the bent form of the coach's roof. This increased height of the coach has made it more difficult to drive.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Laparlière, Maurice (2010-09-17). "Dutch royal extravagance: the queen in the golden coach". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  2. ^ Route of the Golden Coach; royal-house.nl
  3. ^ http://kranten.kb.nl/view/article/id/ddd%3A010619746%3Ampeg21%3Ap001%3Aa0112
  4. ^ "Dutch royals' golden coach set for refit". AFP. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Royal Stables at denhaag.com