Buckingham Palace has finally started sharing all the dazzling details of the upcoming coronation.
The King and Queen Consort will ride to and from the coronation on Saturday, May 6, in two different gilded coaches, according to a statement shared by the palace on Sunday.
The royal couple will travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in the relatively modern Diamond Jubilee State Coach, before returning in the historic Gold State Coach that dates back to the 18th century.
The Diamond Jubilee State Coach was created in 2012 to commemorate the late Queen Elizabeth II’s then-60-year reign. First used in 2014, the horse-drawn carriage has only ever welcomed her majesty, the consort, and, occasionally, a visiting world leader. The coach is the newest of the royal carriages and has an aluminum exterior that sets it apart from its mostly wooden predecessors. It also comes with A/C, electric windows, and contemporary suspension.
Despite the mod-cons, the coach still looks quite classic. It is replete with rich woods and gleaming metals that were sourced from buildings and ships with a connection to Britain. The gilded crown on the top, for instance, was carved from oak that was found on the HMS Victory.
The Diamond Jubilee State Coach will be drawn by six Windsor Grey horses on the big day. The monarch and other members of the royal family will journey 1.3 miles from the Palace to the Abbey for the 11 a.m. ceremony.
The return journey will be much more lavish, with military from across the Commonwealth as well as all services of the UK armed forces walking alongside the elaborate Gold State Coach. This storied vehicle was commissioned in 1760 and was first used by King George III to travel to the opening of parliament in 1762. It has also appeared at every Coronation since the crowning of William IV in 1831.
A true feat of craftsmanship, the coach features elaborate wooden carvings under a thin layer of gold and panels covered in spectacular paintings. While beautiful, the old-school design doesn’t have modern suspension and is therefore notoriously bumpy. In fact, Queen Elizabeth previously described it as “horrible” and “not very comfortable.” Weighing a hefty 4.5 tons, the coach will be slowly pulled along by eight Windsor Greys. Upon returning to the palace, their majesties will receive a royal salute from the members of the armed forces who have been on parade that day.
In addition to the carriages, you can expect to see some top-notch entertainment, extravagant jewels, and maybe even some family drama at the upcoming coronation. Bring on May 6.