The Hidden Feature On Harry And Meghan’s Wedding Carriage You Won’t Expect
It’s every bride’s dream.
What bride wouldn’t want to ride off into the sunset in a horse-drawn carriage? And a royal horse-drawn carriage at that. Well that’s exactly what bride-to-be Meghan Markle will do after tying the knot with Prince Harry on May 19. Wanna know what the carriage looks like? Yes of course you do.
The royal couple have picked the fancy-sounding Ascot Landau carriage for their procession after their wedding ceremony at St George’s Chapel. The compact, sleek black carriage with dainty red-rimmed wheels was built in 1883 and is one of five -- yep, five -- kept by the Royal Mews (which is just a posh word for a garage, really).
Most importantly it has nice high seats so onlookers will be able to get a good look at the beaming newlyweds. And that’s the whole idea of the procession --to allow the thousands of well-wishers lining the streets of Windsor town to catch a glimpse. Haz and Meghs really are all about the people, and we adore them for that.
While a horse-drawn carriage ride might be a bit new to American-born actress Meghan, Harry will feel right at home. He travelled in this very carriage from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace after his big brother’s wedding in 2011. In fact, these carriages are de rigour for ceremonial events such as coronations, state visits and the Queen's procession at Ascot racecourse. Only the best for Harry and his lady-love.
No doubt the couple are hoping for sunny skies on the big day, but if it does rain rest assured that there is a plan B. And what a pretty plan B it is. The almost two hundred-year-old Scottish State Coach looks straight out of a Disney film with its large glass windows, gold trim and royal coat of arms. But you have to view if from above to discover its hidden feature. The unique transparent roof -- installed for the Queen’s first use in 1969 -- will keep passengers dry but still in view of crowds. It’s just so romantic that we confess to secretly praying for bad weather just so we can see Meghan waving elegantly from the window. Sigh.
But let’s not forget about the most important feature of the carriage – sorry, Harry and Meghan, we’re talking about the horses. The Windsor Grey breed has drawn royal carriages since Queen Victoria's reign and, fittingly, four will do the same for the Prince and his new wife. Haven, Sir Basil, Tyrone and Storm (the latter two are an adorable father-son duo) will be in charge of pulling the carriage. Two more steeds, Plymouth and Londonderry, will ride slightly ahead of the carriage as ‘outriders.’ The four-legged beauties -- all bred at the Queen’s personal stables -- are described by watch coachman Philip Barnard-Brown as “very quiet and trusting.” Bless.
If you happen to be in the area (you lucky duck) and want to cheer the royal couple on their procession, the carriage will leave Windsor Castle via Castle Hill at about 1pm and travel along the High Street and through Windsor town, returning to Windsor Castle via the Long Walk. Meghan and Harry are rumoured to be very much looking forward to it, as are we.