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Horse Guards Carriage Pass, 1890
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Horse Guards Carriage Pass, 1890

Measurements: 8.75cm (3.4in) x 5.5cm (2.1in)

£950

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Ivory. Oval inscribed to the obverse with Queen Victoria’s crowned VR cypher and to the reverse ‘Horse Guards / The Right Honble / Sir Wm Geo: Granville / Vernon Harcourt’s / Carriage’

Sir William George Granville Venables Vernon Harcourt (1827-1904) was Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer in Gladstone’s Liberal Governments during the 1880s and 90s. The pass permitted him the privilege of traveling through the Arch of Horse Guards, which in former times was the only entrance to the Royal Family’s private leisure garden. After the destruction of the Palace of Whitehall by fire in 1698, the Household Cavalry continued to stand sentry at the arch as the symbolic entrance to the royal court of St. James’s Palace.

The Household Cavalry are under orders to bar the entrance of all carriages and cars through the Arch of Horse Guards, unless the traveller is in possession of, and be able to produce, an Ivory Pass, only the Royal Family is exempt from this rule. The strictly controlled by system of passes continues today with the allocation of oval passes to selected courtiers. Only the monarch has the right to ride through Horse Guards Arch without displaying a pass to sentries.
 

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