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What is the Irish State Coach and what does it look like?
Kept in the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, the Irish State Coach is the carriage usually used by The Queen for the State Opening of Parliament. It is known as the Irish State Coach because it was built in 1851 by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mr Hutton, who was also a coachbuilder.
The coach which exists today is a copy of the original, which was destroyed by fire in 1911. In 1988-9 a complete restoration of the coach was carried out, during which it was stripped to the bare wood and some twenty coats of paint, including gilding and varnishing, were applied to the exterior. The interior was re-covered in blue damask and the ceiling was covered in blue silk in a starburst design. The restoration was carried out by the Royal Mews carriage restorers.
The coach is normally driven from the box seat, using four horses; however, it may also be drawn by postilion-ridden horses.
Irish State Coach
The Irish State Coach is currently stored at Irish Rail’s Inchicore works in Dublin. It is not open to the public for viewing. This vehicle was built in 1902 by the Great Southern and Western Railway at Inchicore Works, Dublin, for the State Visit of King Edward VII to Ireland in 1903. It contained several internal saloons finished in different styles to a very high standard. The vehicle would be available for charter under the terms and conditions acceptable both to the Society and Irish Rail. For further details, contact: Charles McDonnell RPSI Operations Ballinaclose, Kilmainhamwood, Kells Co.Meath.