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Royal rides

The members of the Royal Family need a way to get to all of the more than 3,000 engagements they carry out each year. We look at their Royal rides, and find out what sets them apart from more everyday vehicles.

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The Planes, Trains, and Automobiles of the Royal Family

The members of the Royal Family need a way to get to all of the more than 3,000 engagements they carry out each year. That’s where their royal carriages, cars, and other modes of transport factor in. We break down their royal rides, and find out why they’re so different from the average transport.

* Vehicles presented do not represent all Royal transport methods.


Use: Most domestic engagements
Housed: The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace
Count: Two Bentleys, three Rolls-Royces, three Daimlers, various Volkswagens, and numerous historic cars

The Queen’s State Bentley

- Painted in “Royal claret livery”
- 6.22 metres long — roughly 1 metre longer than a standard Bentley Arnage
- 3.84 metres long wheelbase — roughly 1.3 metres longer than that on an average family sized saloon
- Rear doors hinged in the back allowing The Queen to stand up straight
- Rear seats upholstered in Hield Brothers lambswool sateen cloth
- Four-speed GM 4L80-E gearbox [ in the engine ]


Use: Ceremonial occasions
Housed: The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace
Count: The Gold State Coach (for coronations), the Irish State Coach (for Opening of Parliament), the Glass Coach (for Royal weddings), and more than 100 carriages and coaches in the Royal Collection

The Gold State Coach

- 3.6 metres tall
- 7.3 metres long
- Weighs 4 tonnes
- Pulled by eight horses
- Interior lined with velvet and stain
- Three cherubs on the roof represent England, Ireland, and Scotland
- Covered in gold leaf and decorated with painted panels 
- Ornately decorated with palms, tritons, lions’ heads, faces, and dolphins
- Built in 1762 for King George III and used in every coronation since 1831


Use: Engagements in the UK
Housed: Wolverton Works (where work on the train is performed)
Count: Two Royal Class 67 diesel locomotives, the “Queen’s Messenger” and “Royal Sovereign,” and numerous saloons and carriages

- 67006 “Royal Sovereign” diesel locomotive
- Includes a modern office and communications facilities
- The Queen’s saloon includes a bedroom, bathroom, and sitting room
- The Duke of Edinburgh’s saloon includes similar features plus a kitchen
- Maroon carriages with a grey roof and red and black coach lining
- Carriages include the Royal saloons, sleeping, dining, and support cars


Use: Engagements in the UK (helicopter) and overseas visits (aeroplane)
Housed: Various locations
Count: Sikorsky S-76 C++ helicopter. Though historically the Royal Family had private Royal planes, they currently fly long distances on No. 32 Squadron aircraft or charter flights

Sikorsky Helicopter G-XXEB

- Red and blue for the Brigade of Guards
- Can reach a maximum speed of 178 mph
- The latest in a line of Sikorsky helicopters created for the Royal Family since the 1950s



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