media release

Fit For a King (and Queen)

The Dutch royal carriage has been restored to its former glory with the help of Akzo Nobel.

The Dutch royal carriage known as the Golden Coach—a fairytale vehicle that would have graced the set of Cinderella—is once again resplendent after being given an overhaul using Akzo Nobel’s Sikkens products.

The Dutch public was able to take in the grandeur of the coach’s livery when it was given its first public outing since its renovation during the traditional ride through The Hague to mark budget day in the Netherlands.

The craftsmen who look after the Dutch royal family’s vehicles first used Componex EL, a filler, to repair small holes in the roof joints—the result of the stresses and strains caused by changes in temperature and humidity which cause the coach’s wooden frame to expand and contract.

Then the primer Onol was applied on top of the Componex, followed by a beige Rubbol AZ finish. This last layer is the only paint visible on the coach, according to André Lansdorp (49), decorative painter for the Royal Mews.

The vehicle, which is mostly made of Indonesian teak, is covered with a wealth of leaved gold. Inside it is a mass of delicately finished embroidery, with orange flower motifs and cherubs.

The Golden Coach was presented to the young Queen Wilhelmina by the citizens of Amsterdam in 1898. Usually the state carriage is only given a public outing on budget day, but it is also wheeled out for special events such as the recent wedding of Crown Prince Willem Alexander to his Argentinean bride Maxima Zorreguieta.

Built by the Spijker brothers of Amsterdam, the five-meter long, four-meter wide, 2,700 kilo coach boasted the latest in 19th century coach technology with rubber tires and electric lighting.

It made its inaugural appearance on the streets of Amsterdam in 1901 and has been used for the opening of the Dutch Parliament since 1903.

(Released: November 11, 2002)