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Speaker's Coach

- | WOA S710


Parliamentary Art Collection
Object type
The Speaker's State Coach is a gilded, ceremonial coach. It is the oldest of three such coaches in the UK, alongside the Royal State Coach and the Lord Mayor's Coach. It is both an ornate design object and an important historic document. The Coach is thought to have been made for King William III (1650-1702) around 1698. The design is either by, or influenced by, the French Huguenot architect and furniture designer, Daniel Marot (1661-1752). The ornately carved and gilded carriage is a significant example of Baroque design. The body of the coach still includes some original parts - the undercarriage and the end supports, known as standards. These original parts are rare survivors of 17th-century coach design. A series of painted panels celebrate the accession to the throne in 1688 of William III and Mary II (1662-1694). They include iconography relating to the Glorious Revolution and the creation of the 'Bill of Rights', celebrating the power and authority of Parliament. The painted panels seem to show William receiving the Bill of Rights and Mary receiving fruits of abundance. There are also allegorical figures celebrating the arts alongside war and peace. The coach is thought to have been given to the Speaker of the House of Commons by Queen Anne (1665-1714). It is first recorded in 1802, when Speaker Charles Abbott (1757-1829) paid his predecessor Speaker John Mitford (1748-1830) 'for the state coach built in 1701 and repaired in 1801'. Parliamentary maces (the symbol of royal authority) appear amongst the door carvings. Both the painted panels and hammercloth (driver's seat cover) bear the coats of arms of successive speakers. Speakers of the House of Commons used the coach for Coronation and Jubilee events in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was last used by Speaker Thomas at the wedding of Prince Charles (born 1948) and Lady Diana Spencer (1961-1997) in 1981. The coach is now conserved as a historic object.
Coach Depth 2000mm
Coach Width 6440mm
Coach Height 2900mm
Drawbar Depth
Drawbar Width
Drawbar Height
Crown Depth 210mm
Crown Width 300mm
Crown Height 300mm
Coach without crown Height 2540mm
Mosaic tesserae