The design of this wicker phaeton was copied from a carriage made for George IV in 1824. The king liked to drive his own carriage but by 1824 he was in his 60s and quite portly. He asked for a carriage to built without sides and low to the ground so he could easily get in and out.
Later in the 19th century this design became popular with ladies, who because of the hoops, bustles and corsets, needed a carriage that provided easy access.
At Walnut Hill, this carriage took part in the Ladies Wicker Phaeton - Picnic Turnout competition. In addition to driving skills, the human competitors must make and carry with them in the carriage, a fancy picnic lunch. As soon as the driving part of the competition is over, the ladies must unharness their horses and set up their lunch on provided tables. Judges come around to each picnic and taste the food.
Here are the judges sampling the picnics.
The lady driving the George IV phaeton provided this lunch.
There were even wicker glass-holders!