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Driving Trivia

7 Royal Rides Fit for the Queen

January 22, 2024

4 min read

Leon McKenzie's avatar

Leon McKenzie

Content Writer

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QEII: longest-serving British monarch; animal lover; motor car enthusiast. There are few more joyous royal photographs than the diminutive Lizzie behind the wheel of a Land Rover Defender or grinning with glee in her brand new luxury golf buggy.

And although we are slightly jealous that Her Majesty doesn’t need a licence to drive — a unique privilege afforded by her status — we’re impressed that she undertook her own intensive driving course back during WWII. Since then, she’s been unstoppable behind the wheel, building up a collection of cars estimated to be worth millions.

The only question is: which royal ride should One choose when One is razzing around One’s estate?

Austin Utility

An Austin Utility truck

Maud MacMellon ran the training centre where the then-Princess learnt to drive, and, until her death in 1977, was in possession of some glorious nuggets of insight concerning Her Majesty’s technique. Apparently an extremely courteous driver, the Queen no doubt applauds the 2022 changes to the Highway Code, which give pedestrians greater priority when crossing roads.

Of course, it wasn’t all smooth-sailing. She was once held up trying to get home in her Austin Utility ‘Tilly’ truck (similar to the one above) because the guard didn’t expect a member of the Royal Family to be driving a truck! And Elizabeth also confided in MacMellon about the time she got a telling off from a police officer, when, having tried to escape one traffic jam, she’d inadvertently caused another.

So if you’ve ever had a made a mistake on the roads, take heart: we’ve all been there, even HRH.

Land Rover Defender

Some people collect stamps or coins, but the Queen already knows what her face looks like, so she stockpiles Land Rovers instead. She’s thought to have owned about 30 Defenders in her lifetime, favouring classic green paintwork and high-spec interiors.

It’s the perfect off-roader for hunting parties — one of the cars that went for auction apparently still had gun cartridges in the glove compartment — and getting out and about on vast Royal estates. Clearly a family favourite, Prince Philip even chose one — in his own design — to carry his coffin to St George’s Chapel in 2021. A last hurrah if ever there was one.

Range Rover

This state car had more than the usual royal modifications made to it. Not only was it transformed into a convertible, but the back seats were taken out too. That provided the perfect platform to carry out one of the most accomplished of royal tasks: smile and wave, boys, smile and wave.

The official royal Range Rovers are adorned in claret. And while we might think it’s a roomy car, after the auxiliary ambulance the Queen drove during the war, no doubt these vehicles seem relatively petite.

Rolls Royce Phantom

This one’s a fancy favourite: the Queen Rolls the Royce out for really special occasions. We’ve seen them used aplenty in royal weddings over recent years — but the impact never gets old. And word has it that, on occasion, the family has even auctioned off previous models. Which means there’s at least one fortunate (and, we suspect, particularly minted) citizen out there who has their very own Royal Rolls. Jealous? Us?!

Aston Martin DB6 Volante

Although not strictly belonging to Her Majesty, she did in fact purchase a beauty just like this (okay, just like this but in royal blue), bequeathing it to her eldest son on the occasion of his 21st birthday. Charles still has the Aston Martin, and famously had it converted to run on wine and cheese — or, at least, surplus alcohol and cheese by-products — back in 2016.

We don’t know if it has a penchant for red or white, but we applaud the Prince’s green vision — while acknowledging he can probably afford the hike in petrol prices.

Bentley State Limousine

Back when the Queen had only been serving for 50 years, Bentley had a couple of state limousines tailor-made for her needs. They gifted these to her, in the traditional claret red of all state cars, and with plenty of special features that would protect Her Majesty in the event of an attack.

Not a bad present, but then one doesn’t have a Jubilee every year, does one? Although, as it happens…

Garia Golf Buggy: the Queen-mobile

Forget fancy; we’re all about the more down to earth rides of Lizzie’s life. Her appearance at the 2022 Chelsea Flower Show saw a new addition to her extensive vehicle collection: a luxury golf buggy, one of three Queen-mobiles she now owns, featuring six leather seats and driven by a Palace chauffeur. A spokesperson said it was all part of the ‘adjustments [that] have been made for the Queen’s comfort’. And what better way to experience an accessible tour of the incredible gardens and impressive installations?

Another of the buggies — a four-seater — includes an in-built fridge and purportedly cost £62,000.

We’re excited for a few days off, for garden parties — and of course, to check out which royal rides Queen Elizabeth will employ during the celebratory events. Happy Platinum Jubilee, Your Majesty!

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