King Charles and Queen Camilla ditch ‘horrible’ gold coach to take shortcut home

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  • King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will ditch the uncomfortable golden coach to the coronation ceremony and take a shortcut back to Buckingham Palace later on in a major shakeup.

    The route being used by the pair back to Buckingham Palace on May 6, which they decided themselves, is also several miles shorter than the one used by the-late Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

    Shortly before the 11am service commences at Westminster Abbey, the royal couple will travel, accompanied by The Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry, down The Mall via Admiralty Arch.

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    They will then move along the south side of Trafalgar Square, along Whitehall and Parliament Street, around the east and south sides of Parliament Square to Broad Sanctuary to arrive at the Abbey.

    That journey will be taken in the newly-made, air-conditioned Diamond Jubilee State Coach rather than the 260-year-old Gold State Coach, used by the Queen for her big event.

    The late-Queen used the golden carriage both to and from the Abbey, however the soon-to-be-officially-crowned couple will only be using the golden lavish transport on their return – and along a much shorter route than in 1953.

    Queen Elizabeth famously described the bumpy experience in the gold carriage, which is suspended on leather straps, as “horrible”.

    The procession in the Gold State Coach will feature a cast of hundreds of members of the Armed Forces from the UK, Commonwealth and the British Overseas Territories, as well as the Sovereign’s Bodyguard and Royal Watermen.

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    It will take longer than his outward journey because the historic gilded carriage, which will be drawn by eight Windsor greys, is so heavy it has to travel at walking pace.

    And route will be around 3.2 miles shorter than the one used by the Queen in 1953 because they will not be going down Piccadilly, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Haymarket like she did.

    The Palace declined to comment on whether the decision to opt for the Diamond Jubilee State Coach at the start has anything to do with ongoing back pain the King has suffered for many decades.

    The black and gold Diamond Jubilee carriage, built in Australia and first used by the late Queen at the State Opening of Parliament in 2014, is the newest in the Royal Mews.

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    It features modern technology, with six hydraulic stabilisers to stop it from swaying.

    Sally Goodsir, curator of decorative arts at the Royal Collection Trust, said: “The Gold State Coach will be the centrepiece of the much larger procession from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace on coronation day.

    “It weighs four tonnes and because of that it can only be used at walking pace which really adds to the majesty and stateliness of this great royal procession.”

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