22.05.18 Mark Broadbent

Ascot Landau takes centre stage at royal wedding

Coachmakers who watched the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have noticed the happy couple travel through Windsor in an open top carriage.

The carriage used was an Ascot Landau; so named as they were built for and mainly used for HM The Queen’s procession at Royal Ascot each year. But, obviously, they are also very appropriate for other occasions.

Liveryman Mark Broadbent talks us through the vehicle. “A landau in general is a carriage where the double hoods can be either open or closed, depending on the state of the weather, or if the occupants want to be seen. With the hoods closed, it is very much like a coach with no windows. With the hoods down it is a very open carriage, where the occupants can be easily seen.

“This is particularly so with the Ascot Landau, which does not have such a deep body, so the passengers are more visible than in the larger deeper state landau. It is a lighter weight, simple but elegant carriage, which is why the vehicle was an excellent choice for the royal wedding. The Ascot Landau was postilion driven by four Windsor Grey horses, unlike the enclosed state carriage, which is coachman driven.”

Being a wedding and not a full state occasion and less formal, it was the ideal carriage for the day.