First look at 300 year old gold Coronation coach King Charles will travel in this weekend

This weekend will see King Charles III and Queen Camilla officially crowned during their Coronation at Westminster Abbey.

Charles, who instantly became monarch last September following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, will leave the Abbey with his wife and other senior members of the royal family and head back to Buckingham Palace, where they’ll pose on the iconic balcony for photographs.

But in terms of getting to and from the locations, how will the stars of the show reach their destinations?

Well, it can now be revealed that Charles and Camilla will travel in the 300 year old gold Coronation coach that has been retired since 2005.

Steeped in royal and parliamentary history, the carriage underwent a huge conservation effort in 2006 to 2008 to restore it to its former glory, which means it’s conveniently in ship shape condition for this weekend.

But what else do we know about it before it gears back into action on Saturday?

What was it used for?

Built in the 17th century, the golden carriage – also known as the Speaker’s State Coach – is thought to have been made in the 1690s for King William III and Queen Mary II.

It’s believed that Queen Anne, William’s successor, presented it to the Speaker of the House of Commons, where it was used for royal events. From Jubilee and Coronation processions, the carriage was also reserved for the short journey from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey.

The golden carriage is the oldest of three ceremonial coaches in the UK, including the Lord Mayor’s Coach and the royal State Coach.

When was it last used?

The carriage was last seen on display in 2005 in Westminster Hall. However, due to the King’s Coronation, it will come out of retirement again until Autumn, where members of the public will be able to feast their eyes on the historical artefact.

Present speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle has “welcomed the return of a tangible connection between Parliament and Coronations past”, and has opened up about how “excited” he is that “members of the public will have the opportunity to see the Speaker’s State Coach.”

It “was last seen in the historic Westminster Hall in 2005, and is on display once again until Autumn, to commemorate the crowning of King Charles III,” he added.

In terms of the last time it was used , the Speaker’s State Coach was last in action back in 1981, when it transported Speaker George Thomas from the House of Commons to St. Paul’s Cathedral for the wedding of Charles and Diana.

King Charles and Camilla’s Coronation

As well as taking the King and Queen from A to B, the intricately designed gold coach – which is also embellished with Renaissance-style paintings – will form the backdrop to a pre-Coronation visit by their Royal Highnesses, MPs, plus peers ahead of the 6th May.

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