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Does the Queen have a car?

Did the Queen Have a License?

Even if you don’t keep up with celebrities, it’s fun to look at their unique and lavish car collections. The British Royal Family owns a fleet of vehicles, including models Queen Elizabeth II drove herself. She was a mechanic in World War II and enjoyed leisurely drives well into her later years. However, the queen never had a driver’s license. We’ll explain why and look at some unique cars in the late monarch’s collection.

Queen Elizabeth II owned and drove many cars

Did the queen have a driver

The queen frequently cruised around the royal grounds in one of her many Land Rover SUVs, Ranker reports. In a widely circulated photo, she drove a dark green Ranger Rover during one of the first grouse hunts of the season. The queen owned at least 30 Land Rover Defender models, including a custom-built version in 2002. In addition, Land Rover made her a custom LWB Landaulet, complete with a sunroof and hybrid engine.

The queen also owned a few station wagons, including a Jaguar X-Type. In fact, a photo of her swerving a Jag around a slow-moving car went viral on social media.

And in 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the first Bentley Bentayga owner. This PHEV produced 600 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque upon its release. The queen test-drove one before the British automaker released the model to the public, though she probably didn’t hit its top speed of 187 mph.

Why could the queen drive without a license?

British monarchs benefit from royal prerogative, meaning their ministers can enact rules without passing them through Parliament. The royal prerogative is primarily used to make treaties, appoint ministers, and deploy the armed forces. However, it’s also used for more commonplace purposes, such as exempting a royal family member from driving regulations.

Under royal prerogative, Queen Elizabeth II didn’t need to take a road test or hold a driver’s license. Considering her mechanical knowledge before ascending the throne, we’re sure she wouldn’t have needed one anyway. The queen was driving well before manufacturers introduced automatic shifters, so she already had more expertise than many other drivers.

This royal car is more expensive than any model the queen owned


The late Queen of England’s most expensive cars are valued at about $13.5 million each, according to Autoevolution. They are two Bentley state limousines custom-built for Her Majesty in honor of her Platinum Jubilee. Each packs a twin-turbo 400-hp V8 engine.

The interiors are upholstered with lambswool cloth, and the exteriors are painted maroon to match many of the queen’s other vehicles. Each also has a large roof ornament bearing the royal coat of arms. And reinforced body cladding protected the queen during public appearances.

However, even those two cars aren’t as pricey as the gold-plated Rolls-Royce Phantom Silver Spur II. Its estimated worth is $14 million because 24-karat gold adorns the entire exterior. It also sports gold wheel covers and an ornate canopy shading a raised sitting bench.

The Sultan of Brunei commissioned the ultra-luxe Rolls-Royce for his wedding procession. We doubt he gets behind the wheel of this limo, but it still sits in his billion-dollar car collection. Though the queen might not have owned the flashiest cars, she loved driving them.

Elizabeth II: The queen who loved cars

A skilled driver, especially of off-road vehicles, and a great collector of luxurious saloons, the British monarch espoused the century of the automobile.

Published on September 13, 2022, at 5:00 pm (Paris), updated on September 13, 2022, at 5:00 pm

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    Queen Elizabeth II in her Range Rover during the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Windsor (southern England). May 13, 2011.

    The reign of Elizabeth II was a continuous parade of ceremonial cars. From the back seat of sumptuous Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar and Daimler limousines, the Queen zealously upheld the great tradition of British automotive luxury. Beyond the respect due to her position, the sovereign also had a special relationship with cars.

    Although she appeared as a stoic monarch, what she loved most was driving. In July 2021, at the age of 95, she got behind the wheel of her faithful dark grey Range Rover, recognizable by the Labrador mascot curiously stuck in the middle of the hood, to go to the Royal Windsor Horse Show to see her horses run.

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    During Elizabeth’s childhood, the automobile was never far away. As a child, she and her sister received a Citroënette, a 1926 children’s cart, made in France. It was a replica of the C4 Citroën powered by an electric motor and could reach 15 kilometers per hour. The toy was later passed on to Prince Charles. For her 18 th birthday, the princess received a Daimler DB18 from her father, King George VI.

    Eclectic preferences

    At the end of the Second World War, the future queen served as an ambulance driver in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, where she acquired a strong mechanical knowledge. She knew how to take off a wheel, adjust the ignition advance, dip her hands in grease and take the wheel of primitive ambulances. When she returned to civilian life, she did not have to obtain a driver’s license – a document issued in the name of the sovereign. This is a privilege of the monarch, who is also not required to have a passport.

    The monarch honored the elite of national production, starting with the huge Rolls-Royce Phantom IV of 1954, weighing 3 tons

    In the years following her accession to the throne, many photos show her behind the wheel with her children in the back. After the war, with the rise of female employment, the car was also an instrument of emancipation for women. The sovereign had a weakness for the Daimler Regency Express but the owner of the manufacturer was compromised in a tax fraud case and the brand suddenly lost its aura within the royal family.

    Elizabeth then displayed eclectic preferences, but strictly patriotic ones. She honored the elite of national production, starting with the heavy 1954 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, which was loaded onto the yacht Britannia to join her on her tours throughout the Commonwealth. She was also seen at the wheel of less glamorous models such as a Vauxhall Cresta Estate, in which she liked to go hunting on her land or walk her corgis.

    On the other hand, she had little interest in popular models. Pierre Dreyfus, the president of the Renault company, presented her with a light blue Dauphine when she visited the Acton factory. The response was polite. The Austin Mini, a revolutionary vehicle lost in the middle of an infinitely conservative English production, did not inspire her much.

    Impressive collection of vehicles

    Elizabeth’s favorite terrain was off-roading. In fact, she was more Land Rover than Bentley or Rolls-Royce. Her favorite vehicle? A Defender 110 turbodiesel, a rustic machine that shakes its occupants to their core but can cross the worst potholes, almost climb trees and usually ends up covered in mud. The sovereign would sometimes take distinguished guests on a discovery safari through her Scottish estate of Balmoral in her Land Rover, which was, however, fitted with heated seats.

    Some would remember it for a long time, like former prime minister David Cameron (2010-2016), who described a fearless female driver. Or Prince Abdullah, who had probably never been driven by a woman – forbidden to take the wheel in Saudi Arabia at that time – and was, according to a British diplomat, «terrorized» by the performance of his host. She took great pleasure in driving on steep roads that she knew by heart.

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    Celebrated as an authentic car enthusiast by the powerful Royal Automobile Club, Elizabeth II accumulated an impressive collection of vehicles during her reign, valued at 10 million pounds (11.5 million euros, at current prices) in 2017. It was thanks to her, during her 1992 official visit to France, that the presidential SM limousine ordered by Georges Pompidou was last seen parading through Paris. This famous convertible, which had been gathering dust since the 1980s, was exhumed from the government’s garages to satisfy the protocol that requires that the royal couple appears riding in an open car.

    Translation of an original article published in French on; the publisher may only be liable for the French version.

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