The gilded gold coach is set to remain on public display until Autumn, to commemorate the crowning of King Charles III.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said he “welcomed the return of a tangible connection between Parliament and Coronations past”.
He said: “I am very excited that members of the public will have the opportunity to see the Speaker’s State Coach, which was used in so many historic state events, including the Coronations of Her Late Majesty, her father and grandfather.”
The ornate coach is also set to form the backdrop to a special pre-Coronation visit by King Charles and Queen Camilla to MPs and peers ahead of their crowning this coming weekend.
The route will take them down the Mall towards Trafalgar Square and once through Admiralty Arch, the King and Queen will run along the south side of Trafalgar Square before turning right down Whitehall.
Passing the Cenotaph, they will proceed clockwise around Parliament Square and turn towards Westminster where King Charles will be crowned.
Thousands of well-wishers are expected to turn out at key points along the route and large screens will be erected in London and across the country.
The Speaker’s State Coach is thought to have been made for King William III and Queen Mary II in the 1690s.
William’s successor, Queen Anne, is thought to have presented it to the Speaker of the House of Commons – who used it for royal events, including Coronation and Jubilee processions, and the short journey from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey.
It is the oldest of three great ceremonial coaches in Britain – the others being the Royal State Coach and the Lord Mayor’s Coach.
The Speaker’s State Coach was last used in 1981 to transport Speaker George Thomas from the House of Commons to St Paul’s Cathedral for the Royal wedding of the then Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer.
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Since the Speakership of John Shaw Lefevre (1839-1857), the coach was always drawn by a pair of Whitbread Brewery Shire horses.
The coach is now preserved as a historic object and work of art in the Parliamentary Art Collection.
The Speaker’s State Coach has most notably been used for the Diamond Jubilee address to Queen Victoria in 1897, for the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 and the Coronation of King George V in 1911 – by Speaker William Court Gully, for the Coronation of George VI in 1937 – by Speaker Edward Fitzroy, and for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 by Speaker William Morrison.
Since the Royal Wedding of 1981, the coach has been on display in many locations.
It was kept in an air-conditioned glass case in the courtyard of Whitbread Brewery near the Barbican between 1978 and 1988, when it was moved to a new coach house on the site opened by Speaker Bernard Weatherill.
From 1995 – when the late Baroness Betty Boothroyd was Speaker – the coach moved to Westminster Hall, where it remained periodically on open display.
In 2005, Speaker Michael Martin formally decided to retire the coach and protect it as a historic object for future generations. A major conservation project in 2006-2008 restored the original magnificence of the coach.
In 2011, Speaker John Bercow announced it was to be loaned to the National Trust’s Carriage Museum at Arlington Court, near Barnstaple, Devon, where it remained until recently.