The Royal Mews is a mews of the British Royal Family. In London the Royal Mews has occupied two main sites, formerly at Charing Cross, and since the 1820s at Buckingham Palace.
The Royal Mews is regularly open to the public. The state coaches and other carriages are kept there, along with some of the horses, together with their modern counterparts, the state motor cars. Coachmen, grooms, chauffeurs and other staff are accommodated in flats above the carriage houses and stables.
The Royal Mews provides road transport for The Queen and members of the Royal Family by both horse-drawn carriage and motor car.
The current Royal Mews was built to designs by John Nash and were completed in 1825 (though the Riding School, thought to be by William Chambers, dates from the 1760s). The buildings have been modified extensively since.
The carriages are frequently used for state visits, such as the official opening of Parliament, royal engagements, weddings and coronations.
The most famous coach on display at the Royal Mews is the golden state coach. The carriage, which originates from 1761, is decorated with gold leaf, painted panels, sculptured cherubs, lion’s head and dolphins. It measures a regal 23 feet in length and is 12 feet high, while weighing four tonnes. No less than eight horses are needed to pull it. The carriage was last used as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002.
Another very famous carriage is the State Landau. Built in 1902, it played a central role during the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
Horse-drawn travel is regarded as very important by the royals and this is apparent too from the latest carriage to join the collection of royal coaches, the Diamond Jubilee state coach, which was built to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It joins a fleet of horse-drawn carriages that are used on average once a week to carry newly-appointed high commissioners and overseas ambassadors from their official residence to Buckingham Palace to present their credentials to the Queen.
Meanwhile, the daily messenger Brougham shuttles between the Royal Mews and Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace to collect and deliver post.
Apart from horses and carriages, the British royal family also stores their fleet of Rolls Royces at the Royal Mews, some of which are displayed.
The stables that are part of the Mews, house some spectacular steeds and ranks as one of the finest in existence. Horse lovers visiting the Royal Mews might find that, as the stables are very active, some of the Queen’s horses may be on duty or being trained and therefore not on view.
Today there are two types of horse at the mews. The Windsor Grey which has been bred by the royal family since the 19th century. Most of the greys are Irish draughts, selected for their coat colour. The other breed is the Cleveland Bay.
On occasion, Her Majesty makes a surprise visit to the Royal Mews to visit her beloved horses.
The Royal Mews’ address is Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0QH.
Tickets – These can be purchased on arrival or on the Royal Mews website – https://www.rct.uk/visit/the-royal-mews-buckingham-palace
The Royal Mews open daily from 10 am – 4 pm (Check the website for changes and closures) https://www.rct.uk/visit/the-royal-mews-buckingham-palace
You can visit the Royal Mews at your leisure using the complimentary multimedia tour, which lasts approximately 45 minutes. Between March – October guided tours run by the Wardens also depart hourly from 10:00 – 16:00. Look out for details at the entrance, or ask a Warden for more details. You are also welcome to take photographs.
How to get there
Visitors wishing to view the Royal Mews can travel to Buckingham Palace Road by Underground.
Three stations serve the Royal Mews
– Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly line)
– Green Park (Piccadilly line/Victoria line/Jubilee line)
– Victoria (Victoria line, District line, Circle line).
In addition to the London Underground, the Royal Mews can be reached by bus or coach
By bus: Numbers 11, 211, C1 and C10 stop on Buckingham Palace Road
By coach: Victoria Coach Station is a ten-minute walk from the Royal Mews
Snaffle Travel groups visit the Royal Mews on all our London stays including the Badminton Horse Trials and Royal Windsor Show tour, Burghley Horse Trials Tour and London Olympia Horse Show Tour.