The Wedding Carriages
22nd March 2011
The 1902 State Landau was specifically built for King Edward VII in 1902
There will be five horse-drawn carriages in the Carriage Procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. The first carriage will be the 1902 State Landau or Glass Coach carrying the Bride and the Bridegroom. The second and third carriages will be Ascot Landaus carrying the Best Man, Maid of Honour and Bridesmaids. The fourth carriage will be a Semi-State Landau carrying The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. The fifth carriage will be a Semi-State Landau carrying The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Mr and Mrs Middleton.
The 1902 State Landau, the Glass Coach, the Ascot and Semi-State Landaus are housed at the Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace.
The 1902 State Landau was specifically built for King Edward VII in 1902 and was intended to be used at his Coronation. It is the carriage in most general use at the Royal Mews and is usually used by The Queen to meet Foreign Heads of State when they arrive on State Visits to Britain. The Prince of Wales travelled to St Paul’s Cathedral in the 1902 State Landau for his wedding in 1981, returning in it with The Princess of Wales after the service. The Duke and Duchess of York also used it for their return to Buckingham Palace at their wedding in 1986.
The Glass Coach was built in 1881 and was purchased for use at King George V’s Coronation in 1911. The Glass Coach has carried previous Royal brides to their weddings – Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923, Princess Alexandra in 1963, Princess Anne in 1973, Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 and Miss Sarah Ferguson in 1986. It has also carried the bride and bridegroom from the church, as it did when Princess Elizabeth married The Duke of Edinburgh and again when Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips.
There are five Ascot Landaus in the Royal Mews. These carriages are always used for The Queen’s procession up the course at the Royal Ascot Race meeting and also for other visits of an official nature.
There are five Semi State Landaus in service. They have been used for The Queen’s coronation visit to Edinburgh, the Investiture of The Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle, The Queen’s silver Jubilee visits to Glasgow and Cardiff, and on State Visits following the 1902 State Landau. They are also used to transport new High Commissioners of Republics within the Commonwealth when they are received by The Queen.