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?
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.