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
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.