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Britain's Queen Elizabeth stands beside the new Bentley state limousine at Windsor, southern England, after it was presented to her Wednesday, May 29, 2002. The Bentley in claret and black livery is a Golden Jubilee gift to the queen from a British-based business consortium. Like the queen's other official cars, this one has no registration number plate, and carries her personal Coat of Arms at the front, on the roof of the car.FIONA HANSON

Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot Friday and millions of eyes worldwide will be watching, fixated on the bride's wedding dress.

The British royal family's historic collection of elaborate carriages and coaches is sure to be shined up and put into play for this hoity toity affair. In fact, Royal Mews staff have said that after the ceremony, Will and Kate will likely parade past crowds in an open-topped horse-drawn carriage - the same 1902 State Landau (adorned with gold leaf and upholstered in crimson satin) used by Chuck and Diana when they went from St. Paul's Cathedral to Buckingham Palace after their wedding.

Ahh, the pomp. The pageantry.


Horse-drawn carriages are not our cup of tea. Let's get to what really matters here: the cars.

The royal bride-to-be will be driven to Westminster Abbey for her wedding in the same maroon Rolls-Royce Phantom VI that Prince Charles and Camilla were in when student protesters splattered it with white paint and cracked a rear window. This car was a present to Queen Elizabeth on her Silver Jubilee in 1977 and officials insist that the necessary repairs will be made in time for the royal wedding.

It has also been confirmed that Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and their entourage will travel in a total of eight state cars to the Abbey.

And that's it. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Chuck and Camilla, Prince Harry and the rest of the bridal party are all getting around in those infernal carriages.

We are not amused.

It's not as if the monarchy doesn't have cool cars at its disposal. For example, any of the following cars from the royal fleet could have been put into play:

1. Queen Elizabeth

For official duties, Liz has eight state limousines - two Bentleys, a 1977 and 1987 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, a 1950 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, and three Daimlers - at her disposal. The newest of these are the Bentleys and one was presented to Her Majesty to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002. Both are custom-made and feature rear doors that are hinged at the back to allow the Queen to stand up straight before stepping down to the ground.

2. Prince Charles

Chuck has owned or leased a number of Audis: an A8 limo and two Allroad wagons for personal use with Camilla. He has also purchased two A4s, which are used by his staff.

3. Prince William

There's a trend here. Will also drives an Audi, a powerful S4 4.2-litre V8. The royals have a special leasing deal with Audi and, as VIP customers, it has been reported that they get huge discounts on their cars. Like they need it ...

4. Prince Harry

Harry drives a black three-door Audi A3 turbo-diesel. He has been known to put the pedal to the metal on more than one occasion.

5. Camilla

The Duchess of Cornwall has a Land Rover Discovery, complete with a driver.