Visitors to the Coronation Festival (11-14 July) will be able to enjoy the rare opportunity to see one of the most recognisable and elegant cars in the world, Her Majesty The Queen’s State Limousine.
This unique Bentley, presented to The Queen in 2002 to mark the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne, will be the centrepiece of a collection of Bentleys on display in Buckingham Palace Gardens throughout the celebrations.
“Whilst the State Limousine is known to millions of people across the world, the Coronation Festival will offer a superb opportunity for visitors to take their time to walk around the car and get closer than usually possible. Her Majesty and The Royal Household have kindly made the car available for the occasion,” comments Richard Charlesworth, Bentley’s Director of Royal and VIP Relations.
Bentley’s craftsmen, designers and engineers (in partnership with several leading British automotive specialists) started work on ‘Project Diamond’ in 2000 with the clear objective of creating a truly elegant car suitable for every type of Royal occasion.
The State Limousine is designed to ensure as many well-wishers as possible have the opportunity to see The Queen and Bentley created a ‘panoramic glasshouse’ as well as making the vehicle far higher than any other car. Additionally, the rear seat position was determined using a model of the same height as The Queen and the doors are hinged at the rear and open through 90 degrees to enable Her Majesty to almost walk out of the car.
As well as presenting the State Limousine, Bentley’s craftsmen and designers will be offering live displays of some of the skills that provide every car that leaves the Crewe factory with a hand-built, bespoke feel.
The ‘open air workshop’ will show guests the mix of hand-to-eye coordination, skill and attention to detail needed to create Bentley’s luxury car models. For example, the team will be demonstrating how to contrast stitch a steering wheel or apply a crossband design to a wood veneer.
A final highlight from Bentley will be the presence of the company’s flagship model; the Mulsanne. Blending refinement and performance with luxury features and technology, the Mulsanne offers the greatest of grand touring experiences. The car takes nearly 400 hours to create (with 200 hours dedicated to crafting the luxurious interior) and nearly 120 exterior colours are available as standard as well as 24 leather colours. The steering wheel alone requires ten feet of thread and 620 stitches to complete.