Queen Elizabeth II: Five Incredible Car Facts

She sat on the throne for 70 years, most people did not know a world without her. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022 at her country estate in Balmoral, Scotland.

What many did not know: the British monarch definitely had a relationship with cars. Here are five facts from the late Queen’s long car life.

1. The Queen could repair cars

Elizabeth II was a trained car mechanic and driver. The British Queen was educated during World War II. At the age of 18, in February 1945, she joined the British Army Women’s Section, where she served under service number 230873 as “Honorary Second Subaltern to Elizabeth Windsor”. In addition to her motor vehicle apprenticeship, she also learned how to drive a truck there. After five months she became Junior Commander honorary promotion.

2. Elizabeth II didn’t need a license plate

The Queen was the only person in Britain allowed to drive without a number plate. However, only in the official cars, the so-called State Limousines. These cars have the Windsor coat of arms above the windscreen instead of the number plate. When Queen Elizabeth was traveling incognito, she too took a number-plate car. What that was was unfortunately secret.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II exits her car as she arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, 06 June 2014. Britain's Queen Elizabeth is on a three-day state visit in France.

Official Queen’s cars had no registration plates. Instead, the Windsor crest was emblazoned on the roof.

3. No leather interior in the state coach

The Windsors like to be down-to-earth and humble. But it was a surprise that the Queen didn’t sit in fine nappa leather in the car. However, there are no fabric seats from the basic equipment installed in their cars: the seats are covered with the finest gray cloth. That was traditional.

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Queen Elizabeth II. 2015 in Berlin

4. She didn’t want a Rolls-Royce as a gift

Rolls-Royce stands for British tradition and luxury. Queen Elizabeth II wanted such a luxury sled but not even given it since 2001. At that time, BMW took over the brand and relocated most of the plant to Germany. The VW subsidiary Bentley, on the other hand, continued to build in Crewe, UK. Since then, the Queen drove Bentley. Incidentally, she was given the company car as a gift, which is another tradition.

5. Almost 75 years behind the wheel without a license

The Queen learned to drive cars and trucks in the military, but did not have a driver’s license. Thanks to the special permit, she didn’t need the one in Great Britain either. For almost 75 years, Elizabeth drove II without a rag. In July 2015, paparazzi caught the then 90-year-old in Windsor Great Park. At the wheel of her dark green Jaguar, she avoided a family on a walk and therefore quickly drove across the English lawn. Only the Queen was allowed to do that!

Queen Elizabeth II seen driving her Range Rover car as she attends day 2 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park, Windsor Castle on July 2, 2021

It was not uncommon for Queen Elizabeth II to get behind the wheel herself – she didn’t need a driver’s license to do so.

And on November 1, 2021, British newspapers published three photos of the late monarch behind the wheel of her green Jaguar. It was said at the time that she had made a tour of the grounds of her residence at Windsor Castle near London. This was taken as a sign of the Queen’s improved health, who was apparently struggling with the death of her longtime husband, Prince Philip.

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