Charles' Coronation Ride Has AC, Electric Windows

But he's taking the 'horrible' coach Elizabeth used for her own coronation on the way home
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2023 2:35 PM CDT
Charles Taking His Mom's Swank Ride to His Coronation
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace in the new Diamond Jubilee State Coach to deliver her speech at the Palace of Westminster, in London, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. The coach was built in Australia by a team of craftsmen led by Jim Frecklington, who conceived the idea.   (AP Photo/Jonathan Brady, Pool)

For anyone who's ever had to borrow mom's wheels to get to a fancy event, well, the British royals are just like you! King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla will ride in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach—first used in 2014 by Charles' late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in 2014 and named after her, well, Diamond Jubilee—on the way to his May 6 coronation. This being the British royals, nothing is uncomplicated: The couple will return home in what the BBC terms the "notoriously uncomfortable" Gold State Coach, which has been used in every British coronation since the 1830s. The differences between this coronation procession and the last:

  • Getting there: Charles will travel 1.3 miles on his way from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. His mother took a longer route of 1.6 miles.
  • Getting home: Charles will retrace the same 1.3-mile route, whereas Elizabeth took a 5-mile route back to Buckingham, which took about two hours. Both legs were in the aforementioned uncomfortable coach, and she later described the ride as "horrible" and "not very comfortable," per the BBC.
  • The new ride: The Diamond Jubilee State Coach has AC, electric windows, and, hey, suspension. "It's made of aluminum, which is quite unusual, because most of them are made of wood, and it's also got hydraulic suspension, meaning that the ride is incredibly comfortable," says Sally Goodsir, a curator at the Royal Collection Trust.
  • The old ride: It's 23 feet long, weighs 4 tons, and needs eight horses to pull it, reports Reuters. "Because of that it can only be used at a walking pace, which really adds to the majesty and stateliness of this great royal procession," says Goodsir.
Charles had some trouble finding a band to play his coronation. (More King Charles III stories.)

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