Stirrups for the Gold State Coach
Gifted to HM The Queen by the Loriners' Company on the occasion for her Golden Jubilee
To commemorate HM The Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 the Loriners Company presented Her Majesty with a new set of nine pairs of stirrups for use by the postilion riders of the Gold State Coach. Eight pairs were required but another was provided as a spare. These stirrups are not only used with the Gold State Coach but also with other carriages at events including Royal Weddings and Royal Ascot.
Past Master James White launched the project in liaison with the then Head Coachman at The Royal Mews, Honorary Freeman Colin Henderson and was completed with considerable input from Liveryman Assistant Ray Moss.
The Gold State Coach was commissioned in 1760 for King George III and built in London by coach makers Samuel Butler and was not completed until 1762. It has since been used at the coronation of every British monarch since William IV. Manufactured using the lost wax process, these beautiful new items of lorinery replaced the originals which had become unsafe and were too small to accommodate the larger foot size of today’s postilion riders. The stirrups also included some updates to meet modern health and safety requirements.
Made from a strong alloy and then covered with 15 microns of gold, the original King’s crown that sits on top of the side bosses was substituted with a Queen’s crown. A pattern for this being taken from one found at the William Albery Lorinery Collection at Horsham Museum in Sussex.
For storage, a beautiful wooden stand was commissioned and commemorated with a name plaque stating that they were a gift to The Crown by the Loriners Company. Both are kept at The Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace.
Upon their completion, the stirrups were presented to Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace where the private 15 minute audience was extended to 30 minutes. In attendance were: Past Master Martin Hall-Smith (Master 2004), Past Master Glen Neville-Smith (Master 2002), Honorary Freeman Colin Henderson (Head Coachman at The Royal Mews), Assistant Liveryman Ray Moss (who procured the manufacture of the stirrups) and Liveryman Dr Catherine Williams, daughter of Past Master James White who was instrumental in this project. Her Majesty enquired about the details of the manufacture and the addition of white stirrup treads to meet modern Health & Safety requirements. Her Majesty, remarked on the high quality and detail on the finish of the stirrups.
The stirrups were used on the occasion of the coronation of HM King Charles III in May 2023 and it is anticipated that they will serve The Crown for many, many years to come.
Liveryman Patricia Nassau-Williams
The Gold State Coach facts:
- An enclosed coach. It is now over 260 years old
- 8 horse-drawn carriage in 4 pairs
- 4 postilion riders who each have a pair of stirrups. Originally it had a coachman
- The Loriners Gold Stirrups are only used on the outside leg of each rider
- Used by the Royal Family
- Built in 1762 , London for King George 111 but not completed in time for his coronation
- Used at the coronation of every British monarch since then
- Built by the workshops of Samuel Butler
- At a cost then of £7,562
- This is approximately £3.54 million today
- Weighs 4 tons
- 24 feet (7.3 m) long by 12 feet (3.7 m) high
- Panels painted by Giovanni Cipriani (1727 – 1785)
Postilion stirrups for the Gold State Coach
Left to right > The finished Lost Wax stirrups, the first attempt by Sand Casting and the original stirrups
Liveryman Ray Moss – who arranged for the creation of the postilion stirrups for the Gold State Coach
Sand casting process
The lost wax process
Investment Casting - Lost Wax - Precision-casting technique for forming metal shapes, involves 10 steps.
The King’s Crown was exchanged for a Queens Crown
Reveal of stirrup