Unlock the Secrets Heritage Pavilion 2021: Caleche
Posted on : 30 March 2021
The caleche is the horse drawn carriage used each year to carry the official party at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Royal Easter Show. It is is on display in the Heritage Pavilion throughout the Show, except for the few hours it is used for official duties.
The first time the caleche was used, it carried Her Majesty the Queen, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and Princess Anne to the Main Arena where they opened the 1970 Show.
The coat of arms that appears on the caleche, is the longstanding emblem used by the RAS. Royal ascent was given to the Society in 1891, and from this time the Society adopted the royal coat of arms used by Queen Victoria. In this coat of arms the shield is quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the three passant guardant lions of England; in the second, the rampant lion and double tressure flory-counterflory of Scotland; and in the third, a harp for Ireland. The dexter supporter is a crowned English lion; the sinister, a Scottish unicorn. According to legend a free unicorn was considered a very dangerous beast, therefore the heraldic unicorn is chained. In the greenery below, a thistle, Tudor rose and shamrock are depicted, representing Scotland, England and Ireland respectively.
There are two mottos depicted on the coat of arms. Both are written in Old French, dating from the period of Norman rule in England, when French was the primary language of the English Court. One is the motto of the Order of the Garter: 'Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense' - Evil be who evil thinks. The other is the motto of the British monarch: 'Dieu Et Mon Droit' - God and my right.
Note: The Queen visited the Showground in 1954, but finished up her Australian tour (3rd February - 1st April 1954) before the start of the Show.