King Charles III’s coronation will take place in England on May 6, and Matchbox is celebrating with a 1/64-scale model of the Gold State Coach that will participate in the ceremony. It’s surprisingly detailed, and it’s a model that played a significant role in the brand’s history.
Matchbox explained it set out to release a model that’s “fit for a king.” Designers started the project by studying hundreds of photographs taken at the Royal Mews, where the 261-year-old carriage is normally stored, and footage showing the Gold State Coach during parades. That was the first part of the project; the second part involved using 3D scanners to accurately reproduce the eight Windsor Gray horses and the four coachmen that were included in earlier versions of the model. All told, the design phase took approximately four months.
Several details set the 2023 release apart from earlier models. It notably features windows, printed decals that replicate the painted side panels, and three cherubs on the roof that represent England, Scotland, and Ireland, respectively. From the interior, which is finished in red, two metal figures representing King Charles III and the Queen, respectively, look out over the horses linked together by gold-colored chains.
Numerous companies are planning marketing campaigns pegged on the coronation, but Matchbox notes its ties to the Gold State Coach are deeper. In 1953, London-based die-cast brand Lesney released a roughly 4.5-inch-long replica of the Gold State Coach to commemorate the start of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. It sold over 1 million units of the model, and it used the profits to launch the Matchbox brand.
Made to order, Matchbox’s 1/64-scale Gold State Coach will be sold online from April 26 to May 18. It’s priced at £60 (about $75), and it comes in a display case with a base shaped like the surface of The Mall, the road that connects Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square. And it’s easier to store than the real thing, which weighs almost 9,000 pounds (over twice the weight of a BMW M5) and stretches 275 inches long.