The routes King Charles will take when he is formally crowned next month have been unveiled – and the carriages he will travel in.
The King and Queen Consort will travel roughly 1.3 miles from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey on May 6, taking a much shorter route than Elizabeth II on her coronation day in 1953.
Accompanied by The Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry, they’ll set off down The Mall and along the south side of Trafalgar Square.
Then, they’ll turn onto Whitehall and Parliament Street before going round the east and south of Parliament Square to Broad Sanctuary.
They’ll arrive at the Abbey for the start of coronation at 11am, and will return along the same route.
Queen Elizabeth II’s outward journey, by comparison, was roughly 1.6 miles long, with her return procession taking her five miles along Oxford Street and Haymarket.
The late monarch made the trip in the 260-year-old Gold State Coach – which is suspended on leather straps – and famously described the bumpy experience inside as ‘horrible.’
Charles and Camilla will only make the outward journey in the Gold State Coach.
They have decided to return in the more modern and comfortable Diamond Jubilee State Coach, which has shock absorbers.
Martin Oates, senior carriage restorer at the Royal Mews, says that while the older vehicle does creak like an ‘old galleon’ as it moves, it’s running smoother than it used to.
He said: ‘It’s not quite a washing machine, but where other vehicles just go from back to front, this is moving from side to side.’
Even the famously stoic Queen Victoria was not a fan, remarking on the vehicle’s ‘distressing oscillation’.
It is suspected that Charles and Camilla may have picked a different carriage for the return journey due to the problems with back pain they’ve both suffered over the years.
Meanwhile, it’s also been confirmed that the Queen Consort will use an ivory sceptre during proceedings.
This is despite Charles’ longstanding campaign as Prince of Wales to end the illegal trafficking of animal parts like rhino horn and elephant tusk.
The ivory staff was made in 1685 for Queen Mary of Modena, the wife of James II, who was the first Queen Consort to participate in a coronation ceremony following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: ‘As with any historical collection of its size, it is to be expected that the Royal Collection includes items that contain ivory as this reflected the taste at the time.’
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