Like many celebrities, the royal family’s love for the Land Rover extends for decades. Queen Elizabeth II and other royal family members are great fans of this brand. The royal family’s love for the Land Rover has been evident on many occasions. Over time, the Queen has used Land Rovers countless times in ceremonial events at home and abroad. Many photos show the Queen and her late husband riding the Land Rovers on the estates of Balmoral, Sandringham, and Windsor Great Park.
Land Rover is a classic British brand
The Land Rover remains Britain’s iconic automotive brand. Land Rover is synonymous with the U.K.’s automobile industry and enjoys a special bond with the royal family. The Land Rover Defender is among the favorite models for the first family.
A short history of the Land Rover brand
According to Land Rover, its first vehicle was made in 1947, but the company launched it in 1948 during the Amsterdam Motor Show. That makes 1948 the year when the Land Rover brand began, and since then, the brand has produced incredibly luxurious vehicles for its drivers. In 1949, the company exported its first Land Rover to the U.S.
Until 1978, the Land Rover was part of the British Leyland (BL) Motor Corporation. Then, the Land Rover separated from BL because the latter was not doing well, yet the former was making tremendous strides in the market. In 2002, Ford acquired the Land Rover and was later purchased by BMW in 2006.
In 2008, Tata Motors purchased the brand. To date, Tata Motors owns the brand under the Jaguar Land Rover name. Until 2019, Tata was using Ford engines to make Land Rovers. Some famous Land Rover models include the Range Rover, Range Rover Velar, Discovery Sport, Range Rover Sport, and available plug-in hybrid models.
Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family’s penchant for Land Rovers
According to Coventry Live, the partnership between Land Rovers and the royal family extends for decades. This relationship dates back to 1948, when the company gifted Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI, its 100th production. The King granted a royal warrant to Land Rover in 1951, showing how the royal family treasured the brand. Only the Land Rover and Jaguar brands have received royal warrants from the royal family.
The queen’s passion for vehicles started when she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), where she earned her driving license. Over the years, Queen Elizabeth II has owned about 30 Land Rovers, from the old-fashioned models such as the Series Land Rover to the modern Defender. The Land Rover Series 1 was the Queen’s first state review car in 1953.
The queen’s most popular Land Rover was the 2002 Defender, specially designed for her. The company stopped producing this model in 2016 and launched a more advanced model under the same name. Although it’s not clear whether she still drives, in 2015, she traded in her old Range Rover for a new and redesigned model, according to Car And Driver. Also, in 2016, the Queen and Prince Philip were seen touring Windsor in a custom-made open-top Range Rover during her birthday.
Prince Philip also liked the Land Rover brand. In his life, he drove many Range Rovers and Defenders until 2019, when he experienced an accident driving a Freelander and stopped driving.
Another incident that proves the royal family’s love for the Land Rover brand was during Prince Philip’s burial. Although traditionally, the royal family uses gun carriages in their funerals, Prince Philip’s body was ferried in a specially modified Land Rover Defender. It’s believed the Duke contributed to its design because the company made it many years before his death.
Recently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge rode the next generation of the 2022 Land Rover while attending the St. Patrick’s Day Parade mounted by the 1st Battalion Irish Guards in Ireland. Prince William and his wife got their hands on this latest model before being released to the public.
Editor’s Note: Queen Elizabeth II died on 9/8/2022 at the age of 96.