SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!


The majestic decorations of the Gold State Coach

The iconic Gold State Coach was designed by William Chambers and built by Samuel Butler in 1762, making it the third oldest coach in the British Royal collection. Weighing four tonnes, measuring seven meters in length and 3.6 metres in height, with its purpose being a mode of transportation for British Kings and Queens. Still to this day, it is the most elaborate carriage belonging the British Royal Family. 

George IV was the first monarch to use the Gold State Coach for his coronation in 1821 and it has been used for every coronation ever since.

Although the coach looks to be made of solid gold, it is actually made from Giltwood and entirely covered in a thin layer of gold leaf, thus giving the illusion of a solid gold coach. Giltwood has been used for antiques and furniture for centuries to give an expression of luxury and grandeur.

Three gilded Cherub sculptures grace the roof of the carriage representing England, Ireland and Scotland and can be seen holding a carving of the British Imperial State Crown. Four enormous triton figures keep watch over the carriage wheels and represent the spreading of the good news.

Photo by Cpl Rob Kane MOD © Crown copyright 2022

Colourful painted panels featuring Roman gods and goddesses can be seen around the lower half of the carriage, to represent human endeavour and skills such as Arts, Security, Sciences, Virtue and the image of the harvest goddess setting light to weapons as a sign of overcoming war to regain peace and prosperity, as a mark of respect to London in 1760. On the front panel, Britannia can be seen sitting on the embankment of the river Thames, with St. Paul’s Cathedral’s Dome in the background. 

The interior of the coach is just as beautiful, upholstered and layered in satin and velvet.

About author

Susan is an Actress, Vocalist, Voice-over artist and Writer. She graduated from the University of Salford with a BA (HONS) Music Degree and spent some time travelling around Europe with various choirs, during which time she also performed in the opening ceremony of the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games before pursuing her acting and writing career.