The Glass State Coach was commissioned by King Willem I of the Netherlands, and built by P. Simons in Brussels in 1826. It is of the gala-berline type and decorated in empire style. On the Belgian split from the Northern Netherlands, the coach was in Brussels. It was transferred to The Hague in the very last minute.
In the 19th century the Glass Coach was used for the annual State Opening of Parliament, being replaced after 1903 by the Golden State Coach, a present of Amsterdam to Queen Wilhelmina on the occasion of her enthronement.
Queen Emma used the Glass Coach to go from the Royal Palace of the Dam to the Nieuwe Kerk – a mere distance of 100 metres – on the day of the enthronement of her daughter Wilhelmina in 1898. In the 20th century, it was only used twice: in 1937, for the wedding of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard, and in 1966 for the wedding of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus. On both occasions it was the coach for the parents of the bride and bridegroom.
The woodwork is covered with creamcoloured and darkblue lacquer, and decorated with oak leaf and acanthus leaf motifs. The doors on both sides carry the coat of arms of the Kingdom and the insignia of the Military Order of Willem and the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands. The side panels carry four cherubs, each with different attributes: a sword, a sheaf of arrows, a sceptre and a royal crown.
The frieze below the windows is decorated with acanthus leaves and laurel and with a shield, carried by angels, showing a golden W, with the royal crown on top. It is covered with glass for protection. On the roof lies a purple cushion with the royal crown. The rear has two gilded horns of plenty filled with apples, grapes, pears, wheatears and flowers.
The interior has seats of purple velvet while the ceiling, which carries the coat of arms of the Kingdom in the centre, and the walls are upholstered with white silk. The name of the coach is derived from the seven windows of cut glass in frames of purple velvet and gold rims. The coach can be used only in daytime, as it has no lanterns.