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The Royal Mews is a part of Buckingham Palace in London, in which the British royal family's horses, carriages, and automobiles are cared for and stored. These forms of transportation are used for official royal and state events. This area of the famous property is a working part of the palace, but is open to the public to visit for a fee.
The modern version of the Royal Mews came to be in 1760, in what was then called Buckingham House, when King George III moved a number of his horses and carriages there. When his son, George IV, took the throne in 1820 following his father's death, he renovated Buckingham House to make it into a palace and the Royal Mews was expanded. Each king and queen that has followed George IV has added their own touches to the Mews. Today it retains its historical charm while also being updated with modern amenities.
The responsibility to oversee the Royal Mews falls under the Lord Chamberlain's Office. A Crown Equerry is appointed to manage the staff that cares for the horses, carriages, and automobiles. Staff members typically include veterinarians, grooms, coachmen, and chauffeurs.
A number of different horse-drawn carriages are kept at the Royal Mews, including the ornate Gold State Coach that is historically only used for coronations, royal weddings, and a monarch's jubilee celebrations. The horses used to pull the carriages are Cleveland Bays and Windsor Greys. These animals live within the mews and are regularly hitched to the carriages to practice pulling them. Horse-drawn carriages are still used to transport messages between the different areas of Buckingham Palace.
The automobiles stored at the Royal Mews are official state vehicles. The personal cars of royal family members are kept at other locations. Official vehicles are painted maroon and do not have license plates. There are several royal vehicles maintained at the mews, including a Bentley® limousine, various Rolls-Royce® models, and limousines made by Daimler AG.
The Royal Mews is open to visitors most days of the year for an entrance fee. There are several different types of admission tickets available. Visitors can elect to visit only the Royal Mews, or can combine a tour of the mews with tours of the state rooms and Queen's Gallery inside Buckingham Palace. The carriages and automobiles on public display vary through out the year. The horses that pull the royal carriages can be viewed by the public when they are not training or being used for transport.
That is amazing that horse drawn carriages are still used to transport messages around the palace. What a silly old fashioned thing to do. You would think that they could call or text or e-mail or at the very least have someone run across the grounds with an envelope in their hands. But I guess when you are kings and queens you have to do things in the grandest way possible.
I am a big car buff and I just had to see the royal mews while I was in London. They have some contemporary cars that are really not much to look at. But they also have an amazing collection of classic cars.
What I loved is that a lot of the cars on display were European models that are harder to see in the States. They had a few cars that I have wanted for years to see with my own eyes but have only been able to see pictures of.
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