For the 2011 Royal Wedding, two conveyances were prepared to carry Prince William and his wife, Catherine, from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. The preferred, fair-weather carriage is the State Landau, an open-topped carriage built for King Edward VII ‘s coronation in 1902.
The back-up carriage was The Glass Coach. The globe-shaped coach was used at King George V’s coronation in 1911; built by A. Peters and Sons in 1881, it was previously a sheriff’s town coach. According to the Royal Wedding website, the Glass Coach has carried several brides to their churches:
- Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the late Queen Mother, in 1923
- Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, in 1973
- Lady Diana Spencer, the late Princess of Wales, in 1981
- Miss Sarah Ferguson, now the Duchess of York, in 1986
The Glass Coach has also slowly whisked several newly-wed brides and grooms away from their churches, including Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, and Princess Anne with Captain Mark Phillips. It has a fairytale, rounded look, and will be used in case of torrential rain.
Other carriages used during the Royal Wedding of Prince William and his wife, Catherine
Ascot Landaus are, as the name suggests, generally used to parade the Royal Family across Ascot Racecourse, a long-standing tradition, but they are also used on state occasions. There are five altogether, housed in the Royal Mews: Two will carry the best man, Prince Harry, the Maid of Honor, Miss Pippa Middleton, and the younger attendants.
The fourth and fifth carriages are Semi-State Landaus. These open-topped carriages carried Queen Elizabeth when she visited Edinburgh after her coronation, and carried Prince Charles during his investiture as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle. They’re also used for newly appointed High Commissioners when they first visit Britain.
These two carriages will carry Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, and Mr and Mrs Middleton.
Cars using the Royal Wedding or Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton
Several State Cars from the Royal Mews have also been put into Royal Wedding use. Kate and her father will travel from the Goring Hotel to Westminster Abbey in a newly refurbished Rolls Royce Phantom VI, which was presented to Queen Elizabeth by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders on the occasion of her Silver Jubilee in 1977.
Prince William and Prince Harry will travel in a Bentley. The car has been specially modified to give a larger interior space in an already large vehicle — they are over 20 feet (6.22 m) long. The State Cars are painted in Royal claret, a rich wine red. The cars will travel between three and nine miles per hour.
Other members of the Royal Family and Miss Middleton’s family will travel in other cars and coaches either from the Royal Mews, or organized by it. The State Car collection includes three Rolls-Royces, two Bentleys and three Daimlers; the coaches were loaned by Volkswagen and will be driven by Westway Coach drivers.
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