Paying Homage To The Cinderella Factor
Quite understandably, I was reminded of the story of Cinderella as soon as I saw this sight. I was walking through the city some months ago when this hackney carriage went past me on St Kilda Road.
There are a handful of carriages that operate in the city proper, taking tourists for rides along a pre-determined route. They do a roaring trade in summer, especially with the long daylight hours, but even now as we move into our second month of autumn they are still fairly busy.
One of my favourite stories about ceremonial carriages actually relates to the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey. I recently heard an interesting yarn about well-heeled members of the aristocracy. Apparently several members of upper-crust society masqueraded as coach attendants to serve visiting dignitaries.
So of course I went to that bastion of truth, chronology and good reporting, the BBC. I simply Googled the words "Coronation Westminster Abbey Queen Elizabeth" and found my way to Queen Elizabeth Takes Coronation Oath, where the story was indeed confirmed.
The BBC reports states: "There was a shortage of professional coachmen to help transport dignitaries to Westminster Abbey in horse drawn carriages. Millionaire businessmen and country squires offered their services and on the day they dressed up as Buckingham Palace servants and helped take people to the ceremony."
Of course, they were all well coached.
For earlier posts in this series, check out The Doors Archive.