This is one of the row of about twenty carriages lined up outside the Hofburg palace in Vienna. This line contained carriages of every colour: pure white, pale blue with black leather seats, maroon with black trim, maroon and white, and a glossy black one with an interior of white buttoned leather. You will see in the photo that behind each of the two horses is a sort of canvas chute. This catches any droppings so the streets of Vienna remain clean. I have not been able to find out if this was the case during the Congress of Vienna. Emperor Franz Joseph had ordered a hundred such carriages built for the visiting monarchs of Europe. They were painted dark green with the Imperial coat of arms emblazoned on the doors in gold. Each coach was drawn by two white horses and had a driver and groom dressed in the imperial yellow livery. It must have been a spectacular sight to see them - the coaches not the grooms! - dashing about the streets of Vienna, or waiting outside one of the many palaces where every night hostesses vied with each other to give the most lavish ball.
Some happy news. I completed my latest book for Severn House on April 24th and sent it to my agent. She loved it and sent it on. Entitled Heart of Stone it was accepted within two weeks and is scheduled for publication this November. I'm delighted, and breathless!