Today is the annual State Opening of Parliament, and this year Queen Elizabeth will be traveling to Westminster Palace in a brand-new coach, a veritable celebration of British history built to mark her Diamond Jubilee two years ago.
I highly recommend this slideshow presented by the UK Telegraph, which highlights many of the special elements of this coach, and this video from the BBC, featuring a short description of the coach by the man who designed it. The doors are inlaid with wooden fragments from some of the most celebrated landmarks, buildings, and ships in English-British history: among the highlights are the Tower of London, Sir Isaac Newton’s apple tree, the Mayflower (the ship that brought the “Pilgrims” to North America in 1621) and Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose, which sank in 1545 and was raised in 1982. In addition, there is a fragment of the Stone of Destiny (also known as the Stone of Scone), which has been the coronation seat of Scottish monarchs going back to as early as the 14th century.
This is one of the coolest royal things I have ever heard about. After the State Opening of Parliament, tourists will be able to visit this coach, as well as others, at the Royal Mews, where coaches, carriage horses, and the coachmen’s livery are kept and cared for.