Britain’s longest reigning monarch, Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who sadly passed away aged 96, was a keen motorist.
Not only did she serve during the Second World War as a driver mechanic in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service – but she was the only person in the UK that didn’t need a driving license to drive, due to every license being issued in her name.
So to honour the Queen’s love for all things automotive, the motoring experts at Vanarama have created visuals of her most iconic cars throughout the years.
SIX OF THE QUEEN’S MOST ICONIC CARS
Land Rover Defender
Throughout her lifetime, The Queen owned over 30 Land Rover Defenders. This particular model has specially added mod cons, such as heated seats and electric windows – features you rarely find on a Defender, which normally has a back-to-basics outlook on tech. It was built specifically for the royal family by Land Rover in 2002 and was bought by Sandringham, despite the estate typically leasing cars rather than purchasing them. After the Defender was auctioned, shotgun cartridges were left in the glove box from a hunting party.
Bentley State Limousine
The Bentley State Limousine comes equipped with security features that one would expect the royal family to enjoy. Armoured bodywork and glass protect the occupants inside the cabin of the car from external threats, while internally, the car is completely air-tight to guard against potential gas attacks. The car also comes equipped with a blast-resistant chassis and Kevlar-reinforced tyres.
Aston Martin DB6 Volante
The Aston Martin DB6 Volante was bought by the Queen and Prince Philip as a gift to Prince Charles on his 21st birthday. Famously said to be “powered by wine”, the car uses around four and a half bottles of wine for every mile it travels, after the Prince converted it for bioethanol in 2008 to be kinder to the environment.
On converting the car, the Prince said, “At first, the engineers weren’t convinced that the conversion would work, but I insisted that it would. When the conversion was done, they had to admit that the car now performs better than ever.”
The car was also used as Will and Kate’s going-away car during the royal wedding.
The Queen was lucky enough to receive the first Bentley Bentayga to ever roll off the production line in 2015, with Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer commenting at the Frankfurt Motor Show that they had “reserved the number one car for her”.
At the time of production, the Bentley Bentayga was the fastest SUV ever produced, and this particular model came equipped with a full list of mod cons. For example, the interior boasts leather seats with feature stitching and a quilted diamond design.
Daimler Double Six
Although the royal family no longer owns this car, it has a rather special feature which meant we had to include it. The Daimler Double Six was auctioned by Sotheby’s in 2019 and fetched around £80,500. The car boasted an interior finished in parchments and a specially manufactured, full-length bench seat, installed to make journeys more comfortable for the Queen’s three corgis.
The car was manufactured with no rear headrests or seatbelts. For security purposes, a blue convoy light above the rear-view mirror enabled security systems to recognise the car more easily at night.
Jaguar Daimler V8 Super LWB
The Jaguar Daimler V8 Super LWB is a specially built model used to drive around Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. At the time of the car being auctioned, Her Majesty managed to rack up around 15,000 miles on the odometer over their ownership of the car.
It has a factory-adapted armrest to hold the Queen’s handbag, and several extra switches to operate the windows from either side. The interior of the car was specifically made with no cigarette lighters and the ashtray was converted into a security lighting system. In the boot, the car has a direct line to Downing Street for instant communication. It was auctioned in 2013 and sold for £30,000.