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George IV Phaeton


George IV Phaeton rate
(Noun) (George the Fourth). A low, very elegant, four-wheeled horse-drawn, usually owner-driven carriage. Usually used in showing off an exceptionally fine pair of horses. It is easily identified by it's low slung elegant design and the enormous, gracefully curved, patent leather dash.
In his latter years King George the Fourth of England became very portly and suffered from gout. He requested a low, easily entered vehicle be constructed that he could drive himself. Thus, the George IV Phaeton was born out of the desire and necessity of the King.
This vehicle, whilst beautiful to see properly turned out, can be tricky to drive. Because of the need to keep the entry low, the front wheels had to be moved far forward of the passenger seat. This moved the horses further away from the driver. Hence the reins for the horses are exceptionally long. It takes a particularly well-behaved yet beautiful pair of horses to properly exhibit this vehicle. It is usually owner driven, however, this type of vehicle can be driven postillion (coachman riding the horses) on formal occasions.
In the mid-nineteenth century, this vehicle was modified by adding a coachman's box (seat) and renamed the Victoria after the then reigning monarch who very much favored it.

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