Queen says riding in her gold state coach is 'horrible' experience

Adam Arnold, News Reporter

The Queen may look regal in her gold state coach, but in reality her ride is an altogether more uncomfortable one.

Recalling the time where she travelled from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey for her coronation in 1953, she described the journey as "horrible".

She revealed the seven-metre-long (24ft) gilded carriage, which weighs almost four tons and is pulled by eight horses, is "not meant for travelling in at all".

"It's only sprung on leather", she added, and "not very comfortable".

Her Majesty said her journey to the abbey was four to five miles - "halfway around London", she claimed.

The Queen said the coach "can only go at a walking pace" and the horses "could not go any faster" as it was "so heavy".

She added when she sits in the carriage, she is very high, comparing her height to the coachmen several feet below.

It was commissioned in 1760 and because of its age and rough ride, it is only used on certain occasions including jubilees.

The revelations about the carriage were revealed in a new documentary about the amusing trials and tribulations of being head of state.

The royal speaks candidly and with humour about the experience of her coronation and artefacts associated with the sovereign.

She jokingly stated she could not look down when wearing the imperial state crown, which weighs 2lbs 13oz (1.28kg), as her neck would "break".

Looking at the priceless artefact, she said: "Fortunately, my father and I have about the same sort of shaped head. But once you put it on, it stays. I mean, it just remains on."

Royal commentator Alastair Bruce said the head has to be kept still when wearing it and the Queen agreed: "Yes. And you can't look down to read the speech you have to take the speech up.

"Because if you did your neck would break, it would fall off.

"So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they're quite important things."

She also recounted how she was brought to a standstill when her robes ran against the carpet pile in the abbey during her coronation.

The Queen recalled: "Well, I remember one moment when I was going against the pile of the carpet and I couldn't move at all."

Mr Bruce said "really?" and the monarch replied: "Yes, they hadn't thought of that."

The Coronation will be broadcast on BBC One at 8pm at Sunday.

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