Monday, April 25, 2011

Royal Coach & Carriage

by Anita Mae Draper

It's the royal wedding week and my excitement is mounting daily. It's not every day... or year... or even decade... that a future king weds his true love. Let the banners fly!

Although Prince William and Kate Middleton will marry in stately style, Kate has decided not to follow tradition and travel to the ceremony at Westminster Abbey in the Glass Coach as William's mother, the late Princess Diana, and William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth did for their weddings. Instead, she will arrive with her father in a Rolls Royce.

This photo from 1947 shows a happy Princess Elizabeth with her new husband, the Duke of Edinburgh as they leave Westminster Abbey after exchanging vows. Five years and 2 children later, the young Elizabeth would ascend the British throne.

Kate and Prince William will follow tradition when they leave the ceremony in the 1902 State Landau which is what William's father, Prince Charles, rode in to his wedding to Princess Di.

Prince William is familiar with this carriage and rode in it with his brother, Prince Harry during the Queen's Golden Jubilee procession in 2002. Can you see the boys?

Speculation has arisen that Prince William and Kate will use the new State Coach Britannia, however that hasn't been confirmed. It's the newest carriage in the fleet manufactured by an Australian master within the past couple years. Artifacts and materials from historic buildings, ships, etc have been incorporated into the carriage so that it's a mobile history presentation. This coach may look like a conveyance from the past, but its modern conveniences include electric windows, heating and hydraulic stabilizers.

Then there's the Gold State Coach shown here during the 2002 Golden Jubilee procession. This heavy gold coach is displayed in detail in the video, Fit for a Queen.

Fit for a Queen is a fascinating video showing the history of Britain's Gold State Coach along with photos of other coaches and carriages of the Royal Mews.

If you're planning a wedding several options are available to ensure you receive the wedding of your dreams. In my research, I discovered many businesses which rent coaches and carriages for your special day. One to dream about is the Cinderella Coach. DisneyWorld offers a wedding package which includes a Cinderella Coach ride to the chapel and back. Several other places across the US, UK and Europe offer the same service.

For example, you can rent this Cindella Coach from Honolulu Carriage for a price starting at US $550.

If you'd rather buy instead of rent, G and F Carriages in California sells this model starting at $9,000:

If you're worried about inclement weather, you could choose a closed coach such as this one:

If you're interested in the many different styles of coaches and carriages, check out and then come back and answer this question...

If you were planning a wedding with an unlimited budget, would you choose a horse-drawn coach or carriage and if so, which one?



Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. In 2005, Anita Mae decided to return to writing and make it a priority in her life. She writes old west stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Her characters are strong because the land demands it. Anita Mae likes to write characters who sit up and notice when that special person God’s chosen just for them walks by. The story is all about the courtship between the two main characters. But it won’t be an easy path. And if they don’t know about God at the beginning of the book, they will by the end. Anita Mae has finaled in the 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contest in the Inspirational category, the 2008 Gateway to the Best in the Contemporary Series category, and the 2008 Golden Gateway in the Long Contemporary category. She’s currently waiting to hear the phone ring and have someone say they want to buy Emma’s Outlaw. Meanwhile, she’s working on another story and trying to keep her imagination in check. A pathological picture taker, she usually has a photo or two of the quirky world she lives in on her blog at


  1. Princes Diana was a great princes everyone will say this she was kind hearted but she is no more now anyway we shall see Middleton will fulfill her role.

  2. I agree, Prasad. Kate's been there for William all these years. And she's been hounded by the media the whole time. She knows what she's getting into and as a commoner she knows how to stand up for herself.

    I fully support her in this royal role.

    Thanks for dropping by, Prasad. :)

    Anita Mae.

  3. Hmm...I'm torn. I know all young brides dream of fairy tale weddings, but I don't think fairy tale weddings lead to good real life marriages. I think our "bride" and "wedding" obsessed culture keeps young women focused on their big day and not on the lifetime ahead. Although I appreciate romance and tradition, I encourage my daughter to be realistic about her wedding as the beginning of a lifetime of marriage. So I have mixed feelings about all of this, although, who could turn down a Cinderella carriage?

  4. Very good insight, Dina. The whole concept of a Cinderella coach is the magic of the fairytale, isn't it? And fairytales are nothing more than fiction dressed up in pomp and ceremony.

    I didn't include all the photos in my file due to space, but they include wedding surreys, buckboards and buggies. For me, I think a toss-up would be between the stagecoach and white vis-a-vis. If I had unlimited funds, I would pick one of these because of the historical aspect.

    Thanks for your insight, Dina.

  5. Dina, I agree that our culture puts too much emphasis on the wedding and not enough on the marriage.

    Two years after the honeymoon when you're arguing about which way the toilet paper goes on the roller, it's not going to matter that the bride wore a $5,000 gown or that filet mignon instead of chicken was served at the wedding.

    When hubby and I were engaged, we chose the church he grew up attending at the location because it had a center aisle and a large fellowship hall for the reception.

    Had I to do the service again, I'd have chosen a football stadium and made a fun day of it instead of all the formal trappings of "it's always done this way." A marriage isn't any more blessed by God if it is in a church building or outdoors or on a boat or in a tree. :-)

    My parents eloped. My in-laws had a small traditional ceremony. A quicky wedding but not for the normal quicky reason. They merely didn't want to wait months.

    So I think for my mom and MiL, their daughters' weddings were opportunities to do and have what they didn't.

    My FiL once said that weddings are for the parents to impress their friends. That was during my sis-in-law's wedding.

    Funny thing is to this day, my FiL says he doesn't remember saying that. I'd probably forget I'd said that too. LOL.

    So on to Anita's post . . .

    Awesome picts of the carriages!!! I remember watching Princess Di and Charles get married. We were up in South Dakota visiting my mom's side of the family. Grandma had one of those old furniture box TVs. With a small screen. So my older sister and I were, maybe, three feet from the tv.

    Ironic thing is we up in South Dakota also when Princess Di was killed in the tunnel accident.

    I really like the State Landau.

    But the newest coach is nice too.

    The gold one is too ornate for me.

    White is, surprisingly, too plain.

  6. As someone who didn't get married until somewhat later in life (i.e., in my 40s), the fixings for the wedding were not important to me. My priorities for my wedding were people, photos and the honeymoon. I wanted family and friends there; I wanted good photos and I wanted to go away somewhere for a week, it didn't have to be far but just some time together. Decorations, food, my dress, transportation -- none of that was high on my priority list.

    I agree with Dina. It is so much more important to focus on the marriage that follows than on the wedding -- as much as females want the fairy tale wedding! I'd rather have the happily ever after!

  7. Ooh, I'd have to vote for the gold state carriage. Although I'm quite partial to the glass coach Diana and Elizabeth rode in, too. For some reason I'm not as into those Cinderella coaches.

    For my own wedding, many things were modest and simple. I'd have loved to have had more greenery in the church, for instance, but it wasn't as high a priority as the photos. We had a limited budget and stuck to it, and we had a Christ-based ceremony and a fun reception (which is what I wanted).

    This is going to be a fun week at the Inkwell, with five wedding and marriage posts! I can't wait for more!

    Thanks Anita Mae! Great photos.

  8. Gina, I surely disagree with your FIL's statement that weddings are for the parents. My parents didn't bother to come to my wedding, although Nelson's mom and GMa showed up.

    We were on a basic military salary so we couldn't afford many extras and then with the snow that night... but maybe an old-fashioned sleigh ride the 5 miles from the church to the Inn overlooking the lake would've been a nice touch.

    As for the pics in the post, Canada has a State Landau too, but the basic model compared to the British one. I was going to post a video of our Governor-General (the Queen's 'voice' in Canada) in a procession and surrounded by Mounties but the actual footage of the State Landau was maybe 1.5 seconds. The 40 seconds of scarlet Mounties on their black horses certainly adds to the pomp, though.

    I suppose I could switch the video if interest was shown. :D

    Anita Mae.

  9. Hey Elaine, I laughed when I read your comment...
    'My priorities for my wedding were people, photos and the honeymoon. I wanted family and friends there; I wanted good photos and I wanted to go away somewhere for a week, it didn't have to be far but just some time together.'

    Although I know what you meant, it sounds like you wanted your family on your honeymoon. LOL

    You're so right about the people and pics priorities. A wedding can be performed anywhere, but the people who share it are irreplaceable.

    Thanks for sharing with us today.

    Anita Mae.

  10. Hey Susie, I needed photos on a limited budget, too. I ended up hiring a friend who was studying to be a photography at the nearby community college. Unfortunately her photos were too dark and I only have a few of them during the ceremony itself and then the one of us cutting the cake that I posted on our anniversary post. If I had to do it over again, I'd hire a professional photography even if I had to charge the cost.

    Since your patio post, whenever I think of you now, I think of the ceiling fan on your patio. It sounds so tropical to me. Probably because I'd have to go to Vancouver to see that in Canada.

    Where you married in California? Why would you want more greenery? So different from my white snowy wedding. :)

    Anita Mae.

  11. Since Cinderella is my most favorite of all fairy tales, I would want a Cinderella type of coach. But only if I lived 200 years or more in the past and my prince was taking me home to his castle somewhere in Europe, preferably in the Loire Valley.

  12. hi anita
    being a tomboy all the pomp and circumstance surrounding weddings terrified me. i never really dreamt of the perfect wedding. as it was, my husband and i got married on a dive boat since we met scuba diving. the attire for the wedding was "Jimmy Buffet" style - meaning hawaiian shirts and casual beach attire. my husband wanted all the men to be comfortable since they would have to "suffer" through a ceremony. *heh* the weather was perfect for the day and everyone had a good time.

    i do remember going to a friend's wedding in Colorado. she loved horses. the groom arrived on a stallion and she arrived in a horse drawn carriage. the bridal party wore western attire (the women a bit on the historical side). it was a neat outdoor wedding and you could tell everyone enjoyed themselves. Bride and Groom rode off together in the same horse drawn carriage.
    Not bad for a big city like Denver.

    as for the royal weddings... i did not watch the Charles and Di wedding *gasp* - perhaps because i wasn't into fairy-tales. this time, i don't think i'll be able to watch the ceremony because i have to work *sigh* i'm still not sure if I believe in fairy tales, but i truly pray for Prince William to have the marriage his mother didn't have. a good, solid, happy one.

  13. I'll third the idea that there's too much emphasis on the wedding. Every movie, romance novel, etc. end with the wedding scene, so people have no vision for what comes next.
    For my daughter's wedding, I told her to do whatever she wanted (on a budget) and not fret about everyone else's suggestions. At the end of the day, she and her husband had enjoyed themselves, weren't stressed, and everyone who attended said it was "the most fun wedding" ever.
    For the coaches, being the non-outdoorsy type I am, I will go with the new version that comes with climate control options.

  14. Don't y'all think the gold one looks like something from the TBN set? Can we say "coach faux pas"?

  15. Hey Suzie, I can picture you in the Cinderella coach, too!

    Oh, a castle in the Loire Valley. Sounds so romantic. :) And so much warmer than the British or Scottish castles, too.

    I've never been to Europe, but my aunt lives in France near Nice. Once I sell a couple books I'm finally going to go and visit her and stay at her chalet. Sigh.

    Such nice imagery, Suzie. :)

    Anita Mae.

  16. Hey DebH, I love the concept of your unique wedding! Now see, that's something special because the whole day came from the love and respect you and Boats shared.

    I don't know anyone else who created their own wedding topper based on their mutual interest, but you did because diving is such an integral part of your togetherness. And I don't know about being a tomboy because you certainly didn't look like one on your wedding boat. The whole thing was a beautiful extension of your love. Kudos, kid!

    When you and Boats renew your vows, perhaps you could ride off on a pair of Giant Seahorses? :D

    Anita Mae.

  17. Oh, Anita, I hope you sell those books very soon so you can get thyself to France. Sigh... Perhaps you'd like a tag-a-long when you go. There is NO one in my family who wants to go with me to France.

  18. Uh Niki... what's TBN?

    I included the video on the Gold State Coach because it describes the 240+ year old coach. And heavy! Yowzers.

    Really, it's an obscene showcase when you consider all the hungry people in this world, but then so is art in general. And this is art at its finest, cared for with love over two centuries by loyal subjects.

    I like that Queen Elizabeth saves it for only the finest celebrations like her Golden Jubilee in 2002. In 2012 the Queen will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. Plans have been in the works for a couple years to ready Canada for this monumental date. Special coins are being minted. Commonwealth countries around the world will rise in unity for our monarch's milestone.

    Will the Queen ride in the Gold State Coach for her Diamond Jubilee? I certainly hope so. And I'd love to be there to witness such an occasion. :)

    Now see how you brought out my loyalty to the realm, Niki. I guess I really am a monarchist. LOL

    Anita Mae.

  19. Those are such beautiful coaches! But really expensive!

  20. Yes, Faye, they are.

    I was watching a TLC show today about the royal carriages and the man who used to drive them said their suspension is so great it feels like you're floating. He said people even get motion sickness sometimes while riding in them.

    Can you imagine paying so much money to ride in one and then getting motion sickness? My goodness, that wouldn't be a good memory at all!

    Thanks for commenting. :)

    Anita Mae.

  21. Both of the sure are good couple, Kate Middleton is so beautiful and gorgeous. Prince William sure knows what he is getting into. I can say that they are both lucky with each other. Epic

  22. Yes Logo Design, they certainly are a good looking couple. And yes, they are blessed to have found each other. I think a lot of credit has to go to Kate for waiting those 9 long years for William to decide what he wants. How she must've agonized over that!

    Thanks for dropping in. :)

    Anita Mae.

  23. Wow! Those are coaches are absolutely unbelievable. I know that my fiance would love something like this on our wedding day. Too bad something like is probably expensive, huh? I'm working on finding a new job, so money is a little tight. I just applies for some construction equipment rental companies though, so it looks promising. I hope we could do something like this!


Share This Post

How Our Giveaways Work: The Official Rules

We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.