History on the hoof in Queen’s new coach

The Queen will travel to the state opening of Parliament in a living time capsule – a new state coach celebrating hundreds of years of the nation’s history.

The Armed Forces taking part in an early morning rehearsal for the State Opening of Parliament in Westminster

Fragments of Henry VIII’s warship the Mary Rose, Sir Isaac Newton’s apple tree and the stone of destiny are just some of the priceless artefacts incorporated into the bodywork of the carriage being used by the monarch for the first time today.

The handrails inside the Diamond Jubilee state coach are made from Royal Yacht Britannia timber, and a wooden crown covered in gold leaf, which forms the centrepiece of the roof’s decorations, was carved from oak from Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory.

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Many of the historical items are pieces of wood which have been fashioned into small varnished squares used to decorate the interior walls and door panels.

It is only the second state coach to be built in more than 100 years and was conceived and created by Jim Frecklington in his Australian workshop in Manly, a suburb of Sydney.

Mr Frecklington, who has travelled to London, said: “I wanted to create something very special to mark the Queen’s reign. Our present Queen will go down in history as one of the greatest monarchs that’s ever lived and I thought something very special – a tangible item – should be produced.”

The Diamond Jubilee state coach will go display at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace from Sunday.

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