Queen Elizabeth receives best birthday present in British history

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Queen Elizabeth Receives Best Birthday Present In British History

Many of us got cars on our 16th birthdays, so we have something in common with Queen Elizabeth, who received a new ride as a belated 80th birthday present -- but how does it compare to a used Impala?

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Queen Elizabeth receives best birthday present in British history
Queen Elizabeth fears that Britain will be shocked by the different style of monarchy Prince Charles is planning, according to a new biography of her heir apparent.'Charles: The Heart of a King' claims that the 66-year-old prince's passion for embracing sometimes unusual causes has prompted disquiet at Buckingham Palace, where Elizabeth, 88, is set to overtake Queen Victoria in September as Britain's longest reigning monarch.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Phillip, rides the new Diamond Jubilee Coach as they return to Buckingham Palace following the State Opening at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. The State Opening of Parliament is an annual pageant of pomp and politics centered on the Queen's Speech, a legislative program written by the government but read out by the monarch before a crowd of lawmakers, ermine-robed peers and ceremonial officials in bright garb evoking centuries past. (AP Photo)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Phillip, rides the new Diamond Jubilee Coach as they return to Buckingham Palace following the State Opening at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. The State Opening of Parliament is an annual pageant of pomp and politics centered on the Queen's Speech, a legislative program written by the government but read out by the monarch before a crowd of lawmakers, ermine-robed peers and ceremonial officials in bright garb evoking centuries past. (AP Photo)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II rides the new Diamond Jubilee Coach as she departs Buckingham Palace on her way to the Houses of Parliament for the State Opening, in London, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. The Coach was built in Australia by a team of craftsmen led by Jim Frecklington who conceived the initial idea. The State Opening of Parliament is an annual pageant of pomp and politics centered on the Queen's Speech, a legislative program written by the government but read out by the monarch before a crowd of lawmakers. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Queen Elizabeth II, centre, and The Duke of Edinburgh leaves Buckingham Palace, riding inside the new Diamond Jubilee State Coach, to deliver her speech at the Palace of Westminster, in London, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. The Coach was built in Australia by a team of craftsmen led by Jim Frecklington who conceived the initial idea. The State Opening of Parliament is an annual pageant of pomp and politics centered on the Queen's Speech, a legislative program written by the government but read out by the monarch before a crowd of lawmakers. (AP Photo/Jonathan Brady, Pool)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, obscured, leave Buckingham Palace, riding inside the new Diamond Jubilee State Coach, to deliver her speech at the Palace of Westminster, in London, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. The Coach was built in Australia by a team of craftsmen led by Jim Frecklington who conceived the initial idea. The State Opening of Parliament is an annual pageant of pomp and politics centered on the Queen's Speech, a legislative program written by the government but read out by the monarch before a crowd of lawmakers. (AP Photo/Jonathan Brady, Pool)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II rides in the new Diamond Jubilee Coach as she departs Buckingham Palace on route to the Houses of Parliament for the State Opening, in London, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. The State Opening of Parliament is an annual pageant of pomp and politics centered on the Queen's Speech, a legislative program written by the government but read out by the monarch before a crowd of lawmakers, ermine-robed peers and ceremonial officials in bright garb evoking centuries past. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 4: Queen Elizabeth II returns to Buckingham Palace in the new Diamond Jubilee state coach following the State Opening of Parliament on June 4, 2014 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II explains to members of parliament the coalition government's legislative programme following to the State Opening of Parliament. (Photo by Yunus Kaymaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: Queen Elizabeth II arrives aboard the new Diamond Jubilee Coach to attend the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on June 4, 2014 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II will unveil the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on a 5p charge for plastic bags in England, funding of workplace pensions, new state-funded childcare subsidy and reforms to speed up infrastructure projects. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 4: Queen Elizabeth II returns to Buckingham Palace in the new Diamond Jubilee state coach following the State Opening of Parliament on June 4, 2014 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II explains to members of parliament the coalition government's legislative programme following to the State Opening of Parliament. (Photo by Yunus Kaymaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall ride in the 1902 State Landau coach during a carriage procession from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace after attending a national service of thanksgiving to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in London on June 5, 2012. Queen Elizabeth II attended the final day of celebrations for her diamond jubilee Tuesday, but the pomp and splendour were marred by the absence of her husband Prince Philip after he was hospitalised. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)
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It's called 'The Diamond Jubilee State Coach' but has been referred to as a living time capsule. Covered in gold and jewels, reports say it cost $5 million to build.

The decorations make up only a fraction of the value of the rolling time machine. According to the Daily Mail, priceless fragments from more than 100 famous British buildings make up the body of the coach.

It features wood from Henry VIII's warship the "Mary Rose," the Tower of London, and even Isaac Newton's famous apple tree. Small squares of the historic artifacts join together to form the carriage's body.

Although it was intended for the queen's 80th birthday eight years ago, the privately financed coach took nine years to build. Australian Jim Frecklington, the creator of the carriage, was so determined to complete the project, he even mortgaged his house -- that's a much greater commitment than a simple gift card!

"I wanted to create something very special to mark the Queen's reign. Our present Queen will go down in history as one of the greatest monarchs that's ever lived and I thought something very special – a tangible item – should be produced," Frecklington told The Guardian.

For all its history, the vehicle isn't without some modern touches, including electric windows and heaters.

So will we see Queen Elizabeth using this every day?

According to The Telegraph, the Queen rode in it to the opening of Parliament Wednesday, but the beautiful piece will become a display item at the Buckingham Palace beginning Sunday. The Royal Collection Trust paid Frecklington an undisclosed amount of money for it.

Maybe if enough of us pitch in, we can have Frecklington build us a carriage next. We'll even settle for a few downgrades, so we don't have to wait nine years.
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