As Britain celebrates the Queen’s platinum jubilee, a 260-year-old stately gilded coach took to the streets for the first time in two decades. This is the story behind the fictional transfer of the British monarchy.
The Golden State coach, who first transported the young Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey on her coronation in 1953, will be part of the Platinum Jubilee Parade in London on Sunday.
The amazing chariot, decorated with statues of cherubs and wonderful animals, as a sign of national unity and strength, and the paintings, is a moving work of art. Inside, it’s equally detailed and lined with velvet and satin.
But according to the British Monarchy website, the Queen herself will not be on board during the competition. Instead, archival footage of her waving from the carriage on her coronation day will be shown on the windows.
Seven layers of gilding
Completed in 1762, the Gold State coach is the third oldest surviving coach in the United Kingdom. Four restorations over the centuries have left at least seven layers of gilding and redaction on the bus.
The bus was designed by Sir William Chambers, architectural advisor to King George III, and built by bus maker Samuel Butler. The vehicle is more than 7 meters long and 3.70 meters high and is made of gilded wood. It weighs more than four tons and is pulled by only eight horses at a fast pace.
Every technical detail of the wagon pays homage to British history. According to The Royal Collection Trust, a huge Triton figure was carved on each wheel as a sign of imperial power. The structure is decorated with palm trees and lion heads, among other decorations, to celebrate British victories. One of the front panels also depicts the warrior in helmet Britannia.
“Wherever you look, in the golden statues and painted paintings, in the attire of grooms, and feet, servants, and guards on board, you see rich tradition and history,” said Adrian Evans, master of jubilee ceremonies.
The famous Coach made his first major trip to mark the official opening of Parliament in 1762 during the reign of George III, and was then used in coronations and other important royal ceremonies until the death of Prince Albert in 1861. King Edward VII resurrected the Coach at his coronation in 1902.
Elizabeth II was unimpressed when she rode the carriage during her coronation, recalling that it “wasn’t very comfortable” and that it “was not intended to travel at all”, in a 2018 BBC documentary since then, in which the Queen has only appeared twice: for her Silver Jubilee 1977 and her golden jubilee in 2002. The coach is usually shown to the public at Royal Mews.
The Platinum Memorial Parade concludes the four-day weekend in honor of Britain’s longest-serving queen. The celebration brings with it a large number of street parties, special exhibitions and boisterous parades, where more than 10,000 artists participate.
“It will be a unique spectacle,” Evans said of Bowser’s role in the competition, adding that it would “pave the way for many great scenes to come.”
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