British Gold Coach

Corinne Geertsen Gold Coach
I just selected what I need from The British Gold State Coach for the next picture.

I photographed it a couple of years ago at the Royal Mews in London. George III had seen one like it when he was 21 and just had to have it. It’s a Rococo/Greek Myth/Naval Victory mongrel and makes Cinderella’s ride look like a brick.

It weighs 4 tons (as does an Indian Elephant). Eight horses pull it at a walking pace. It rolls with a Beefeater at each wheel, a footman at every door and a groom at every horse’s head.

William IV, king and naval commander, said being in the coach was like being “in a rough boat on a rough sea.” Queen Victoria refused to ride in it because of its “distressing oscillations.”

It sits up on jacks, keeping its weight off its wheels to help keep them round. It takes ten men a half-day to maneuver it out the double doors of its coach house. There’s 3/4″ clearance on either side of the doorway out.