Which classic royal cars could we see at the coronation?
King Charles III is a great lover of classic cars, which could make an appearance at his coronation. We take a closer look at the royal fleet
With Charles III’s coronation edging ever closer, people around the country are preparing themselves for a huge celebration. The big day promises to feature all the pomp and circumstance that has become synonymous with the royal family’s celebrations.
At Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year, the royal family’s extensive and unique car collection was on full show, conveying the status of the family and the special occasion.
Here, Anglo Scottish Asset Finance take a look at the cars you could see at Charles III’s coronation.
- The Gold State Coach, a historic coach dating back to 1760, has been used in many royal ceremonies—though Elizabeth II and Victoria I both hated the bumpy ride.
- The royal family’s cars can be categorised as State Cars, Semi-State Cars, and Royal Review Vehicles, for different occasions.
- The state cars include two custom-built Bentley limousines, with twin-turbocharged V8 engines and 400bhp.
- At Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, all five state cars were used.
- The royal garage is also home to Rolls-Royce’s from 1950, 1978 and 1987.
- Charles III’s personal car collection includes an Aston Martin DB6 Volante, converted to run with a fuel made of the by-products of wine and cheese production.
How will Charles’ coronation take place?
Charles III’s coronation ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 6. The coronation ceremony has barely changed over the last 1,000 years, and will be at the centre of plenty of pomp and circumstance.
With just a couple months until the coronation takes place, many fine details are yet to be revealed to the public, but it’s certain to be a grand day out.
As well as an all-star concert planned at Windsor Castle, there will be two processions taking place across London.
First, the King’s Procession, from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, will lead to the official Coronation Service. After the service has taken place, The King and The Queen Consort will begin a larger procession back to Buckingham Palace, known as the Coronation Procession.
The cars of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession were the subject of much media attention—so which cars could we see at Charles’ coronation?
The Gold State Coach
Credit: Elizabeth Warren, CC BY-SA 2.0. The Golden State Coach on its way to collection Elizabeth II on the day of her coronation, 1953
Used at the coronation of every British monarch since George IV, the Gold State Coach is expected to be at the centre of the opulent coronation proceedings.
An eight-horse carriage adorned with gilded sculptures and lined with satin and velvet, the coach was commissioned in 1760 and would be worth a touch over £3.5 million in today’s money.
"The coach was commissioned in 1760 and would be worth a touch over £3.5 million in today’s money"
The coach’s age and weight has prevented it from being used for many occasions, apart from coronations and royal weddings.
Despite all the finery of the coach’s design, however, it’s not a comfortable experience—William IV, George VI and Victoria I all complained about the bumpy ride, whilst an 86-year-old Elizabeth II was excused from riding in it on her Diamond Jubilee.
The royal fleet
The royal family’s fleet of cars can be separated into State Cars, Royal Review Vehicles, and Semi-State Cars.
State Cars are usually used for public engagements and ceremonial occasions, whilst Royal Review Vehicles are modified cars for use at some official parades and cinemas. Semi-State Cars tend to be used in less formal situations, and are less likely to feature as part of the procession.
There are two Royal Review Vehicles, both Range Rovers, and at least six Semi-State Cars. These are two Jaguar XJ Limousines and three Daimler DS420 Limousines, which were recently joined by two or three Range Rovers.
John Pannell, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Kate Middleton arrived at her wedding to Prince William in the Phantom VI
There are five State Cars at the moment—two Bentleys and three Rolls-Royces. The Bentleys, commissioned in 2002 for Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, are custom-built limousines, with twin-turbocharged 6.75 litre V8 engines.
With 400 horsepower and other suitably royal modifications including removable rear windows for maximum visibility, these are every bit the perfect car for the royal family.
"The Bentleys, commissioned in 2002 for Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, are custom-built limousines"
The royal garage is also home to three Rolls-Royces: a 1950 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, a 1978 Phantom VI and a 1987 Phantom VI.
Charles and The Queen Consort arrived at Buckingham Palace in the 1978 Phantom VI the day after his accession, and has also driven the 1950 Phantom IV in recent months.
At Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, all five state cars were used – so we could see all five again as part of Charles III’s Coronation Procession.
Charles’ personal cars
Now, these are unlikely to show up in the Coronation Procession, which will be reserved for the royal fleet, but Charles is something of a car enthusiast himself.
Notorious for his work saving the planet, Charles’ collection contains plenty of low- and zero-emissions vehicles, including an Aston Martin DB6 Volante, which is converted to run on E85 fuel made with the wastage from making wine and cheese.
"Charles III's Aston Martin DB6 Volanteis is converted to run on the wastage from making wine and cheese"
For some engagements, he travels in a Bentley, which is usually required for security reasons, and is owned by the Metropolitan Police. His collection also includes a Jaguar XJ.
Though we can’t be sure exactly which cars will be on show during the big coronation weekend, you’re certain to see at least some of these prestigious cars.
With the advent of a new monarch for the first time since 1952, we might be lucky enough to see some new models on show. Keep an eye out on the big day to find out.
Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, founded in 2007, is an experienced group of finance brokers that prides itself on connecting clients with their dream vehicle. Anglo Scottish’s unique portfolio of funders has found clients from many different backgrounds the right finance package for the right vehicle
Banner credit: University of Essex, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr
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