Diamond Jubilee State Coach and Gold State Coach: What are they made of and how much are they worth?
For his coronation as king of England, Charles III will use the Diamond Jubilee State Coach instead of the traditional one used since 1830.
The coronation of Charles III as king of England is an event that will go down in history. The last time this event took place was in 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the British throne. This celebration, marked in red for many, will take place on Saturday, May 6th, and will be held at Westminster Abbey, a privileged and symbolic site.
There are many and varied details to take into account regarding this event. One of the most relevant is closely related to the transport that the monarchs of one of the world’s most important countries will use. Charles III will not opt for the carriage used by the royal family for this event since 1830, but rather use a different one.
Charles III breaks with tradition in his coronation
One of the first details to consider is that the new king, Charles III, breaks with tradition, at least in terms of the transport he will use to arrive at Westminster Abbey to be crowned as monarch of England. On this occasion, the well-known “Gold State Coach,” a carriage that had been used in the last events of this kind, will not be used. The last person to use it was Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
However, even though he will not use it for his journey from Buckingham to Westminster and vice versa, once he has been officially proclaimed as king, the Gold State Coach will be used by the new head of state of England and the consort queen, Camilla. According to the BBC, the two monarchs will use this carriage when everything has finished to return to their home in London.
The Diamond Jubilee State Coach, the carriage that will be used
For his coronation, Charles III will use the carriage known as the ‘Diamond Jubilee State Coach’. As reported by the BBC, this transport pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, as the name commemorates the Diamond Jubilee of the deceased monarch last year. In 2012, she celebrated 60 years on the throne. This carriage, more modern than the one used since 1830, has a hydraulic suspension system adapted to modern times, as well as air conditioning and electric windows. It was built in Australia and was constructed to celebrate the 80th birthday of the reigning monarch at that time.
Tradition and modernity come together in this carriage
As Sally Goodsir of the Royal Collection Trust told the BBC, the material this carriage is made of is aluminum, thus breaking with tradition in that sense, since as Goodsir points out, most carriages are made of wood. Likewise, tradition and history come together in this carriage, as elements of wood from ships and historic buildings, such as Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, or Balmoral Castle, can be found. This mode of transportation is five and a half meters long and 3.4 meters high, and weighs 2.75 tons.
Price, another detail to consider
One of the most interesting points to highlight about the Diamond Jubilee State Coach is closely related to its value. As La Escudería points out, when it was first designed, it was estimated to cost $185,000, but as time went on, while it was being made, it exceeded $4 million.
The gold carriage, another important element
On his coronation day on May 6th, Charles III will not only use one carriage. As Vanity Fair points out, after the religious ceremony, the new monarchs of England will ride in the ‘Gold State Coach’. This carriage, first used in 1762, is one of the most recognized forms of transportation of the British Royal Family. Built in 1760, it is made of gilded wood, which is covered with a layer of gold leaf, giving it the appearance of being made of gold. Materials such as velvet and satin have been used on the inside. Measuring seven meters long and 3.6 meters high, it weighs four tons. It will be pulled by eight horses, which are Windsor Grey, the only ones that can transport the Royal Family.
What is the value of the gold carriage?
Originally, as Britannica notes, its production cost 7,562 pounds sterling, which today would be around two to two and a half million dollars.