Royal wheels and an anniversary
The Imperial State Coach on display in The Royal Mews. (Allan Lynch Photo)
Given the time different between the UK and here, this is approximately the time that Her Majesty became Queen.
Because her ascension required the death of her father, The King, The Queen spends the anniversary quietly at Sandringham. There are never public celebrations. This February Her Majesty marks the 65th year of her reign. The longest in the 1,000-year history of the British Crown.
While she automatically becomes sovereign the moment her father died, the formal taking and making of oaths and coronation was later. Coronations are one of the times when the full majesty of the state is on display. The Crown Jewels and insignia are removed from The Tower of London for use at Westminster Abbey by the new sovereign. Part of the pageantry involves use of the Imperial State Coach to travel between Palace and Abbey. The Coach, known as The Monarch of the Ocean, was built in 1762 at a cost of £8,000 (adjusted for inflation, that is £1,492,403.31 today – the next question is how much a pound was worth in 1762 to fully appreciate the astronomical cost of this coach) . It must be the most opulent form of transportation on earth.
While used only for coronations and jubilees, it stands ready in The Royal Mews. The horses and outriders are the world’s most realistic mannequins.
The coach’s leather suspension causes it to rock so vigorously that Queen Mary complained of sea sickness. (Allan Lynch Photo)
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