The Royal Wedding Horses and Carriages

Find out more about the carriages and horses that were used in the carriage procession at the Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Following the Wedding Service of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the newly married coupled travelled around Windsor in a horse-drawn carriage, providing an opportunity for members of the public to see them and join in with celebrations.

The carriage that was used was an Ascot Landau, which is one of five kept by the Royal Mews. The Landaus are used every year for The Queen's procession during the Royal Meeting at Ascot.

Ascot Landaus has previously featured in the Carriage Procession for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Wedding in 2011. They carried the then Prince Harry, who was his brother's Best Man, the Maid of Honour and the Bridesmaids and Page Boys from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

Prince Harry at the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The Crown Equerry, Col. Toby Browne describes the Ascot Landau as a 'wonderfully bright, small, lovely carriage, very easy for people to see – the passengers can sit up quite high. So there's lots of visibility for everybody.'

An Ascot Landau

Thankfully, it was a hot and sunny day for Their Royal Highnesses' wedding, but if it had been raining the Scottish State Coach would have been used. The Coach was commissioned in 1830 by Prince Adolphus, The Duke of Cambridge (brother of William IV and grandfather of the future Queen Mary) as a glass 'town' (i.e. enclosed) Coach. His family used it for many years, before it was sold to William Keppel, 7th Earl of Ablemarle who converted in into a semi-state Landau. In 1920 it was presented as a gift to The Royal Family for Queen Mary.

The Scottish State Coach

In 1968-9 it was extensively remodelled and restored to its original enclosed state, and was used for the first time by The Queen on the occasion of the opening of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh on May 20 1969. Large glass windows and, uniquely, transparent panels in the roof, were features of the new top made specially for the coach, providing a rare view for onlookers as well as extra light for the occupants.

The Scottish State Coach in 1969

It was recently used at Windsor Horse Show in 2016 for The Queen's 90th Birthday celebrations. 

The Queen in the Scottish State Coach

Coachman Natalie Ozanne describes the Coach as 'a big favourite as it has a glass ceiling, so crowds higher up, people positioned higher up – which there will be a lot of in Windsor - can see in, it’s very good for that.'

The Coach is emblazoned with the Royal Arms of Scotland and the Insignia of the Order of the Thistle, unlike all the other carriages, which bear the Royal Arms for England and the Insignia of the Order of the Garter.

The Royal Arms of Scotland

The Carriage was pulled by four Windsor Grey Horses, with a further two acting as outriders. The horses Sir Basil and Londonderry were the two outriders, and Milford Haven, Plymouth, Tyrone and Storm pulled the carriage.

Tyrone

Windsor Grey Horses play an important role in the ceremonial life of The Royal Family and the nation, and have been drawing the carriages of successive Monarchs and Members of The Royal Family since Queen Victoria's Reign.

Windsor Greys pulling a Carriage in 1946

The carriage left Windsor Castle via Castle Hill and processed along the High Street, through Windsor Town before returning to Windsor Castle via the Long Walk.

The carriage was escorted by a travelling Escort of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

The Mounted Regiment of the Household Cavalry

Find out more about visiting The Royal Mews HERE.

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