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Royal Mews




The Royal Mews is the finest working stables in existence today.  Built in 1760 by George III adjacent to Buckingham Palace it contains, and has on display, some of the Royal Coaches and vehicles used on State occasions. This includes the magnificent Gold State Coach first used by George III when he opened Parliament in 1762. This has subsequently been used for every coronation since then.


Located adjacent to Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mews is one of the finest working stables in existence today. Its construction was started by George III in 1760 when he moved his carriage collection and some of his horses there from a site near Charing Cross in order to be close to the house he recently purchased from the Duke of Buckingham.  In 1764, George III added the indoor riding school and changed the name of the stables to the Royal Mews Pimlico.

When George IV succeeded George III as king in 1820, he set about transforming Buckingham House into a palace worthy of a king and a great nation. He commissioned architect John Nash to remodel the house and rebuild the stables in a grand manner.


New stables were built around the existing riding school. This was to incorporate a Doric arch at the entrance to the central Mews quadrangle and included the main coach houses on the east side.


To the west, he created two sets of State Stables with room for 54 horses as well as forage and harness rooms. The buildings were completed in 1825.

In 1837, Queen Victoria became the first monarch to use Buckingham Palace as her official residence and home. Her consort Prince Albert, installed a new forge in the mews  and added sheds in which a cow was kept.

In 1855 Queen Victoria set up the Buckingham Palace Royal Mews School for the children of the servants belonging to the Royal Mews and it remained there for over 20 years until in 1859 new accommodation was built for the members of staff and their families.

Today the mews contains permanent display of State vehicles and includes some of the over 100 coaches and carriages in the Royal Collection which are used for Royal and State occasions, State Visits, weddings and the State Opening of Parliament. 

It also includes the magnificent Gold State Coach used for Coronations.


This is displayed being pulled by eight horses which are required to pull the coach as it weighs four tons. The horses appear real, but they’re not.


This is the oldest of the coaches and was first used by George III when he opened Parliament in 1762. Subsequently it has been used for every coronation since then.  Covered completely with gilding, the exterior is decorated with painted panels. 

The coach contains eight side panels which represent England as a great nation by reflecting pride in its military achievements.  The front panel represents Victory presenting Britannia with laurels. The back panel depicts Neptune and Amphitrite arriving at Britain’s shores.

Another famous coaches on display at the Royal Mews is The Glass Coach.


This was built in 1881, and was originally designed as a Sheriff's coach, but was purchased by the Crown in time for the Coronation of George V in 1911. 

It is used each year on various State occasions, but has most famously been employed at Royal Weddings, either to convey the bride-to-be to the Church before the service or to transport the newlywed Bride and Groom from Church after the service. Since 2012, it has been used to convey The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to and from Horse Guards Parade for Trooping the Colour and may be pulled by either two or four horses. 



              All  Photographs were taken by and are copyright of Ron Gatepain

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