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The Golden Coach was a gift of the citizens of Amsterdam to HM Queen Wilhelmina on the occasion of her enthronement as Queen of the Netherlands in 1898. The overall design was made by Nico van der Waay, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. The sculptures were designed by Van den Bossche and Crevels. The style chosen was Dutch renaissance. All elements have some symbolic meaning, like the wheels, created as rays of the sun, which are a symbol of shining kingship.

The task for the designers and builders was difficult. The requirements included that the Queen should be visible from every angle and, likewise, that the Queen would be able to see her people from every angle. She should be able to stand upright in the coach, which should be fit to be drawn by eight horses and able to make easy turns in narrow streets. And yet it should be very solid, stable and comfortable.

Spijker Brothers in Amsterdam built the coach and made it in the latest 19th century technology: rubber tires and electric light. The coach is 5,18 metres long and 3, 93 metres wide, and it weighs 2700 kilos. Some of the materials used were Javanese teakwood, ivory from Sumatra, gold, silver and bronze, flax from Zeeland and leather from Brabant.

The paintings on the panels signify: Tribute by the Netherlands (right), Tribute by the colonies (left), History (rear; this includes pictures of the Royal Palace and the Nieuwe Kerk), and Future (front). The allegorical figures on top of the coach represent the four activities that are vital for prosperity: Trade, Labour, Agriculture, and Shipping. Together they carry the crown, sceptre, and sword.

The inside has delicate embroidery, with orange flower motifs and cherubs. One also finds the arms of the (then) eleven provinces, the city of Amsterdam and the Kingdom. The carpet has a design of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, symbolising the path to be taken by the young Queen as it is covered with Dutch flowers.

It took two years to build the Golden Coach. Some panic was caused by Queen Wilhelmina's decision not to accept any presents at the occasion of her inauguration. Eventually she made an exception for the Golden Coach, and accepted it on 7 September 1898. It was first used in Amsterdam shortly after the Queen's marriage to Prince Hendrik of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1901. It has been used for the opening of Parliament as from 1903.

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