Surely Her Majesty never gets her hands dirty, does she? This is deceptive: Queen Elizabeth II (96), as a member of the British Army – still under the real name Elizabeth Alexandra Mary – had an apprenticeship as a truck driver and, no joke, as a car mechanic during World War II: The Queen is an Automech – so she can easily change tires or spark plugs without service and help of subjects.
There would be a chance for a breakdown in travel for events such as the official coronation on July 2, 1953 (she had already been proclaimed heir to the throne in February 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI). ). In her 70 years of service, after which the Queen is by far the oldest monarch in the world, she has sat in countless bodies. And they were – no coincidence – mainly British.
A faux belt with a Mercedes
In her travels so far across 120 countries (around 60% of all countries), Queen Elizabeth II uses primarily Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar and Land Rover cars (read about her husband, who died in 2021: Prince Philip loved his royal cars ). However, there were exceptions: for example, during a visit to Germany in 1965, the Queen drove a Mercedes 600 Landaulet through Stuttgart to a TV tower. Her husband was in an open Mercedes 300, which later did not start and had to be squeezed under the eyes of onlookers – what a faux pas. The perfectly functioning Landaulet, on the other hand, is now in the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.
For 67 years of marriage, the royal couple not only enjoyed the services of a chauffeur: last year, the 96-year-old queen rode alone, such as a Range Rover, for example hunting in Scotland or horse racing. The photos show the Queen circling the narrow streets of Scotland in a frill. But they don’t always have to be luxury SUVs.
Photos from November 2021 show the Queen on her way to Windsor Castle west of London driving an old Jaguar X-Type station wagon. A particularly beautiful photo was released in 1957, in which you can see a smiling girl behind the wheel of a luxury sedan. Also on board: little children Prince Karol (today 73 years old) and Princess Anna (71).
A very special Bentley
Back to the present: from 2015, the State Review Range Rover took over representative parade duties – the Range Rover with Hybrid Diesel Drive, reworked by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division. However, the showcase in the fleet is still a special Bentley, which the Queen received as a gift from a business consortium in 2002. At that time, she personally took the vehicle under the royal magnifying glass – and was almost certainly very amused by it.
The Bentley from Arnage is said to have cost over eleven million francs – with no second model available as a reserve! The wheelbase of the red and black ship has been lengthened 29 centimeters, making the limousine a good six meters long. The royal carriage is powered by a 6.75 liter V8 engine with a capacity of 406 hp plus an old four-speed automatic gearbox. This allowed Joe Last, who was Queen’s official chauffeur for many years, to theoretically accelerate the heavy monster to 193 km / h.
Place for official caps
But instead of fast-paced orgies, there’s a special transmission mode called ‘Processional Speed’, which allows the luxury sedan to drive past objects at a lazy 14 km / h while the Queen wags. The glass roof and centimeter armored glass look like shop windows. Herb Windsor confirms that it is a royal vehicle – even on the roof.
Wood is not used in the construction of the Bentley. Reason: the loud clatter of the sword and the husband’s medal had to be prevented. The queen was also thought of: a “suicide door” that opens upside down gives the monarchy ample room for the state to exit – even for the queen’s royal headgear, which is only 1.63 meters tall.
Queen without a driver’s license
We are excited to see which vehicle the Queen will be waving from during the 70th Jubilee celebrations. One thing is for sure: The Queen will hardly drive as she would like. Strictly speaking, there is no driving license: official documents such as passports, ID cards and even a driving license are issued in the name of the Queen. This means that Queen Elizabeth II is the only person in Great Britain who can ride without permission.