Following their nuptials on April 29, Prince William and his bride, Kate Middleton, will be taken from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace in the historic 1902 State Landau carriage that has fairytale written all over it. It is the same carriage that carried William’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, back to the palace following their wedding at St. Paul’s Cathedral on June 29, 1981 and is currently being spruced up for the big day.
The carriage and Glass Coach, built in 1881, are currently being readied for the wedding in the Royal Mews.
History of the 1902 State Landau Carriage
The 1902 State Landau, with its 48-inch girth and a plush red interior, was built by Hoopers for King Edward VII’s coronation. It is an open-top carriage that moves in a circular motion as it being pulled by horses, causing some passengers to get a touch of motion sickness. This is the carriage everyone wants to see because it gives the crowd a much better view of the royal couple as they travel along the procession route.
The royal family has more than 100 carriages and coaches at their disposal for ceremonial processions and other occasions such as the 2001 State visit of Jordon’s King Abdullah II and Queen Rania.
On the day of their wedding, five Windsor Grey’s — housed at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace since 1760 when George III moved his horses and collection of carriages there from Charing Cross in 1760 — will be used to transport the royal couple through the streets of London, passing landmarks such as The Mall, the Houses of Parliament, and the Horse Guards Parade. A total of 18 horses will be used to pull all five carriages.
Order of carriages in the procession
The official royal wedding website reports the carriage holding Prince William and the Princess of Wales will lead a procession of five carriages following the nuptials.
An Ascot Landau carrying Prince Harry will follow directly behind the newly married royal couple. Coming in behind the prince will be another Ascot Landau carrying Maid of Honor Philippa “Pippa” Middleton and Catherine’s bridesmaids. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be carried in the fourth carriage, a Semi-State Landau. The last carriage in the procession will be another Semi-State Landau carrying Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Middleton’s parents.
In case of rain, there’s a backup plan
Should it rain on April 29, the royal couple will travel from the church to Buckingham Palace in the same Glass Coach that carried Prince William’s mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and Sarah Ferguson to the churches they were married in on their respective wedding days.