The Queen and Her Cars: An Automotive Celebration of Queen Elizabeth II

As the world mourns the loss of the beloved Queen Elizabeth II, we recognize from her car collection and lifetime around vehicles that she was a car enthusiast just like us. From Land Rovers to Bentleys and even a tactical vehicle or two, she had her gloved hand on the automotive pulse. Let’s take a moment to celebrate the queen and her cars with a look back at some cool history, like her Platinum Jubilee Land Rover Defender.

What kind of car did Queen Elizabeth II use?

Queen Elizabeth II loved her cars, like her Land Rovers.
Queen Elizabeth II drives a Range Rover | Max Mumby, Indigo, Getty Images

Although the queen used many different vehicles, one car might be the most prolific of modern times. Her 2002 Bentley State Limousine is a larger-than-life modern carriage fit for a queen. It features a royal color pallet, with a stately burgundy running the span of the limousine. The Telegraph reported that the Bentley was the second-most expensive new car in the world at the time of its delivery. 

Further, the big burgundy Bentleys (that’s right, there were two) were a gift for the queen to celebrate her Golden Jubilee in 2002. However, they’re no ordinary Bentleys; they are armored and feature protections from biological weapons and kevlar-reinforced tires. The 20,000-lb beasts had one purpose: deliver the queen in one piece in absolute comfort. 

Queen Elizabeth II embarks the Bentley Limousine, one of the cars she loved in addition to many Land Rovers.
Queen Elizabeth II climbs into her Bentley | Max Mumby, Indigo, Getty Images

What vehicles did the queen own?

The queen owned and rode in Aston Martins, Bentleys, Land Rovers, Range Rovers, Vauxhalls, Rolls-Royces, and Daimlers, to name a few. That is quite the British collection of vehicles, and rightfully so. According to Hagerty, she had a Daimler DE27 when she was a princess in 1948. However, after a scandal hampered Daimler, Rolls-Royce stepped up to the challenge. Big, posh Phantoms enthusiastically carried the monarch in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Long before the Royal Land Rovers, there were Daimlers.
Queen Elizabeth II driving a Daimler | Hulton Archive, Getty Images

However, you might not know about a custom Ford Zephyr MkII that transported Queen Elizabeth II. Hagerty says that a specially-outfitted Zephyr MkII was the queen’s chariot of choice to take guests and herself to shooting parties. 

What were some of her majesty’s favorite vehicles?

Queen Elizabeth II was a famous fan of Land Rovers. Any cursory internet search to that fact will reveal heart-warming photos of the monarch driving a Land Rover Defender. In fact, The Drive says that her favorite Land Rover may have been a 2002 Defender 110 TD5. However, it was hardly a one-way street; Land Rover loved her, too. The famed British marque donated a Defender 130 to the British Red Cross in honor of her Platinum Jubilee. 

Queen Elizabeth II was a car enthusiast

The queen was a beloved monarch to her own country and beyond. However, she was also a car enthusiast, and it shows. Queen Elizabeth II started her automotive experiences with mechanic theory by working on military vehicles during WWII. She also drove trucks during her time in service with the Auxilary Territorial Service. 

Then-Princess Elizabeth loved cars.
Then-Princess Elizabeth watching her son Prince Charles playing in his toy car | Lisa Sheridan, Studio Lisa, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Still, it didn’t stop there; she continued to drive Land Rovers, posh British luxury cars, and even the odd Ford. The queen loved her cars, whether it be a Defender or a Bentley limousine. 


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