Friday, December 5, 2014

Sweet Rides

These photos are of the Gold State Coach (built in 1762) and the Diamond Jubilee State Coach (meant to be finished for Elizabeth II's 80th birthday, but not completed until March of this year).  The Gold State Coach has been used in every English coronation ceremony since George IV's in 1820.

Looking at these kinds of objects inevitably gets me thinking about things like wealth, poverty and the accident of birth.  I think about my comfortable place between the two extremes, and the accident of my own birth.  Why somebody gets a life that's a sweet ride, and somebody else gets a nightmare, and I'm one of the (lucky) ones in between...I don't know.  (And of course, even the extreme of luxury can turn nightmarish in a second).

I don't know the answers to the questions of poverty and inequality, but when I visited Buckingham Palace, I saw these things.  They were very pretty, and I took pictures to show you, because I like you a lot...and here they are.  They are a couple of sweet rides, I'm telling you.








Original paintings, incredibly well-preserved.










The details here are poppies, thistles, shamrocks and palm trees--England,
Scotland, Northern Ireland, and India.  Symbols of strength, a painful history...
symbols of The Empire.

9 comments:

  1. If nothing else, these can still be appreciated as works of art. And it's not like the Queen rides around in this thing today.

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  2. Right, not on a daily basis, anyway. Most of the times these or any of the other carriages are used are big enough events to be televised. I saw the one that William and Kate rode on their wedding day, and the one they rode around in during the Diamond Jubilee, and they're really fly, as well. There is a specific one that's a couple hundred years old, and the Queen rides that one when she visits Scotland. Another thing I learned is that Buckingham Palace receives mail by horse and carriage every day that there's post. No kidding.

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  3. I'm with you. I find myself fascinated and awed by these works of art. Then I find myself depressed by the display of wealth at times (which continue) when the common people didn't even have enough to live on.

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    1. I'm reminded of Sarah Silverman's scathing but very funny video called "Sell the Vatican, Feed the World."

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    2. And now I'm on my way to Youtube to check out that Sarah Silverman video!

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    3. AND... I just watched it! Absolutely hilarious, And the final summation made the argument so convincing... you know, about getting all the...

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    4. Yes! Whatever that is to you, you will get ALL of it! And I think she definitely has their number, so to speak. :)

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  4. Even though the carriage is pretty, extreme displays of wealth make me uncomfortable, whether those displaying the wealth are British royalty, the Vatican, or American one-percenters. It's funny how accidents of birth can land us in such different circumstances.

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    1. Ahab, I just saw new pictures of George Windsor yesterday, and I thought of what he has been born into, and all that rests on his little shoulders. I hope he follows his grandmother's (and apparently his father's) footsteps and will tend toward the humanitarian.

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Always feel free to chime in.