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.

Composition[edit]

The coach is made of teak wood, much of which is covered in gold leaf. It is decorated with paintings by Nicolaas van der Waay and various symbolic ornaments. 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.

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. 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:

On Prinsjesdag in 2010 a man threw a tea light holder against the Golden Coach, causing minor scratches to the paintwork. Convicted of insulting the Queen, damaging the Golden Coach, and assaulting the coach's footmen, the man — who was found to be mentally incapable, excluding jail time — was sentenced to a year in a psychiatric clinic.[4]

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. [5]

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.[6] 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.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Laparlière, Maurice (17 Sep 2010). "Dutch royal extravagance: the queen in the golden coach". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 17 Apr 2011. 
  2. ^ Route of the Golden Coach; royal-house.nl
  3. ^ "Leeuwarder courant : hoofdblad van Friesland", Delpher, September 19, 1974.
  4. ^ "Geen cel voor gooier waxinehouder". Nos. 16 Sep 2011. Retrieved 25 Sep 2016. 
  5. ^ "Dutch royals' golden coach set for refit". AFP. 15 Sep 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-09-16. Retrieved 17 Sep 2015. 
  6. ^ Royal Stables at denhaag.com