A Carriage Fit for a Princess

Kate Middleton to use carriage in which Diana rode on wedding day.

March 22, 2011, 6:06 AM

LONDON, March 22, 2011— -- Kate Middleton's first journey as a princess will be in the very same carriage in which Princess Diana and Prince Charles rode on their wedding day.

It's called the 1902 State Landau and will carry the newly married couple from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

But it's no piece of cake riding in a carriage. The hardest part is getting in and out, especially in a wedding dress.

"I expect she'll probably come round to have a practice," Martin Oates, senior carriage restorer, told ABC News.

"Obviously, it's a big day for them. Don't want to fall out of the carriage at the wrong moment."

If the weather's good, it'll be the Landau. But if it's raining, then Prince William and Middleton will hitch a ride to Buckingham Palace in the Glass Coach. Built in 1881, it's the one in which Diana arrived at her wedding.

Of course Middleton has chosen to arrive at the abbey by car. It's expected to be same car attacked by student protesters last year with Charles and Camilla inside.

Eighteen horses will pull the carriages on the big day. Makes filling a tank with gas seem a breeze.

Normally, it is only the queen who is pulled by gray horses. It's one of many royal traditions. But Queen Elizabeth has decided to lend some grays to William and Middleton.

Coming from someone as fond of horses as the queen, this might well be seen as a sign of approval.

The queen is lending her horses but she has stopped short of loaning out her coachman to the newlyweds.

"I shall be driving the queen," Mark Hargreaves, the head coachman, told ABC News.

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