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Scottish State Coach

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Scottish state coach By Jordiferrer [CC BY-SA 4.0  (], from Wikimedia Commons

The Scottish State Coach is an enclosed, four horse-drawn carriage used by the Royal Family.

The coach was built in 1830 for Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, (tenth child & seventh son of the British king George III & Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz) & his family used it for many years until they sold it to William Keppel, 7th Earl of Albemarle, who converted it into a semi-State landau.

In 1920, the Keppel family returned the coach to the Royal Family by presenting it as a gift to Queen Mary.

Between 1968 & 1969, the coach was extensively remodelled & restored to its original enclosed state. Large glass windows & transparent panels in the roof were added, as well as the Royal Arms and the insignia of the Order of the Thistle being emblazoned onto it & a model of the Crown of Scotland was added on top of the roof.

The coach was used for the first time by Queen Elizabeth II during the opening of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1969; by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1977 during the thanksgiving service for her daughter's Silver Jubilee, & also in 1979 during her installation as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports at Dover.

By Steve F-E-Cameron [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0  (], from Wikimedia Commons

The Queen & the Duke of Edinburgh also used it at Windsor during the Queen's sixtieth birthday celebrations in 1986. The carriage was used for the Order of the Thistle service on at Edinburgh in 1994 & then as a reserve carriage for the State Visit of Harald V of Norway & Queen Sonja of Norway at Holyrood the following day. The carriage was used again in 2011 to chauffeur the Queen & Duke of Edinburgh at the Wedding of Prince William & Catherine Middleton (pictured below).

source - By John Pannell (Flickr: DSC_1339) [CC BY 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Coach is usually stored at the Royal Mews, London, where it can be seen by the public. From time to time, & for certain special events such as the Queen's Jubilee, the coach has been displayed in Scotland, at locations including the Palace of Holyrood House. There have been calls to put the coach on permanent display in Scotland.


Further interest;

The Royal Mews: Official Souvenir Paperback – Illustrated.

  • Home to The Queen's royal coaches, carriages & fleet of cars

  • Also a working organisation, responsible for the monarch's travels around the country

  • Living community whose staff live on site, many of whom are involved in The Queen's public engagements

  • Fascinating insight into the daily activities & organisation behind great ceremonial processions


Visit in person;

You can visit The Royal News, & even take in a guided tour;

Between April & October, you can take a 45-minute guided tour of the Royal Mews with our Wardens. Learn details about the historic carriages and modern cars, & hear about the work needed to prepare for major State and ceremonial occasions. Tours take place daily from the security area at 10:15, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 & 16:00.

Explore the Royal Mews & discover coaches, horses & carriages at one of the finest working stables in existence. These are some of the things to see & do during your visit you shouldn't miss.

Until 30 September 2018 the Ascot Landau carriage that transported TRH The Duke & Duchess of Sussex through the streets of Windsor after their wedding ceremony is also on public display.

You can also Enjoy free re-admission for a year by asking us to treat your ticket purchase as a donation. The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity.



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