Unveiled for the first time, the new Diamond Jubilee State Coach is only the second royal carriage to be built in a century and joins the unrivalled royal collection of coaches, phaetons, landaus, broughams and barouches.
None of the others, however, features a 360-degree "coachcam" offering a monarch's-eye view of the procession, gold-plated hydraulics, motor-racing technology and a dazzling museum. The two door handles, made by a New Zealand jeweller, are individually decorated with 24 diamonds and 130 sapphires.
Little wonder this three-ton coach — 18ft long — has taken 50 people more than ten years to assemble. And it is all the idea of one remarkable Australian. Jim Frecklington, 64, worked in the Royal Mews as a young man before returning home to help organise the Queen's Silver Jubilee exhibition in Australia.
Open a diamond-clad door handle and, inside, we find a time capsule of 1,000 years of history. The new state coach contains relics of all those key moments sacred to Britain and so much of the Commonwealth.
Symbolism: A part of the Stone of Destiny which is placed in a capsule beneath the seats in the new Diamond Jubilee state coach.
Relics: Woods from various celebrated buildings and vessels have been used to inlay the doors. Mr Frecklington secured contributions from Windsor Castle, Balmoral and even the old Royal Box at Ascot. St Paul's and Winchester Cathedrals presented certified pieces, as did Westminster Abbey and many stately homes.
History: The panelling includes a button from Gallipoli, wood from the Mayflower, a rivet from the Flying Scotsman, and wood from Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree.
Crowning glory: Made from wood reclaimed from HMS Victory the reproduction crown sits atop four lions modelled on those found on the gates of Buckingham Palace.
Resplendent: The entire coach is covered with heraldic emblems, crests and motifs, all of which have been approved by the College of Arms.
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