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 or brougham with the addition of a coachman's box-seat, but not enclosed and therefore open to the elements.
Though in English the name victoria was not employed for a carriage before 1870, when one was imported to England by Edward VII, 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.
Nowadays, victorias can be seen in the Chilean city of Viña del Mar, where they are rented to tourists.
The name has been applied to the Ford Crown Victoria, and has been used as a generic term for light horse carriages in Mumbai.
Victoria in the Palace of Cortés, Cuernavaca, Mexico
- Illustration and description, Carriage Association of America.
- Farrell, Jeremy (1985), Aileen, Dr, Ribeiro, ed., Umbrellas & Parasolls, London: BT Batsford.
- "Victoria", Encyclopædia Britannica.
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