Remembering Queen Elizabeth II, The Gearhead Monarch

Remembering Queen Elizabeth II, The Gearhead Monarch

Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II driving her Range Rover, with signature Labrador hood ornament, at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2017.

Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II driving her Array Rover, with signature Labrador hood ornament, at the Royal Windsor Horse Clearly show in May well 2017.
Picture: Ben Cawthra/LNP (AP)

Editor’s observe: This short article was originally posted on the afternoon of September 8, 2022, when it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II experienced died. These days, we’re revisiting this piece on the celebration of the Queen’s point out funeral at Windsor Castle, which will be followed by her burial at St. George’s Chapel.

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch in British heritage and by all accounts a lifelong driving fanatic, has died. She was 96 a long time outdated.

Her Majesty always experienced a factor for driving. At the age of 18, when she was Princess Elizabeth, the long term Queen joined the British armed service, serving in the womens’ Auxiliary Territory Solutions. She was the first woman from the Royal Loved ones to provide in the military, driving military ambulances and studying to restore large vans on the battlefield. Irrespective of some preliminary reluctance from her father, King George, the Princess’s armed forces service was quite very well been given by the British community. Newspapers dubbed her Princess Car Mechanic.

Queen Elizabeth: The Mechanic – Aiding The War Energy | War Archives

The Queen’s eagerness to provide in the war hard work appeared to have kicked off a life time of driving enthusiasm. In the course of her 70-yr reign, the Queen was recognised to push a adhere-change Land Rover close to her 20,000-acre estate, from time to time scaring off poachers who in all probability under no circumstances envisioned the real Queen of England to come roaring close to a bend.

She was also, it would seem, a little bit of a speed demon. In a hilarious account from Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, previous British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, we master of a time when then-Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz frequented the Queen at her estate and got the experience of his daily life:

… in September 1998, Abdullah experienced been invited up to Balmoral, for lunch with the Queen. Pursuing his brother King Fahd’s stroke in 1995, Abdullah was by now the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. Just after lunch, the Queen experienced requested her royal visitor irrespective of whether he would like a tour of the estate. Prompted by his Foreign Minister, the urbane Prince Saud, an in the beginning hesitant Abdullah experienced agreed. The royal Land Rovers were being drawn up in front of the castle. As instructed, the Crown Prince climbed into the entrance seat of the Land Rover, with his interpreter in the seat behind. To his surprise, the Queen climbed into the driving seat, turned the ignition and drove off. Ladies are not – however – permitted to generate in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not utilized to currently being driven by a girl, let by itself a queen. His nervousness only elevated as the queen, an Army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover together the narrow Scottish estate streets, speaking all the time. Via his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and focus on the road forward.

Queen Elizabeth II driving her Range Rover at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, July 2, 2021.

Queen Elizabeth II driving her Range Rover at the Royal Windsor Horse Clearly show, July 2, 2021.
Photograph: Max Mumby/Indigo/Contributor (Getty Images)

Even as she entered old age, Her Majesty was commonly photographed at the wheel of one particular of her many custom Royal Land Rovers, all of which were being outfitted with her signature Labrador hood ornament. A Queen driving herself about was a noteworthy departure from the typical decorum encompassing British Royals, who for the most portion opt for to be pushed all-around by chauffeurs.

Below she is in 1991, ripping all-around her estate in a adhere-change Rover and making the most of every minute of it:

Queen Elizabeth II guiding the wheel on the royal estate

Queen Elizabeth’s reign coincided with significant and ongoing alterations in the way societies work. In latest years, numerous persons have rightly begun to re-examine the job of the British Monarchy in the United Kingdom and all around the entire world. There will be lots of discussion about those matters as the globe reacts to the Queen’s passing.

For us, though, we’ll often bear in mind Queen Elizabeth as the ambulance-driving, truck-correcting velocity demon of the Royal Spouse and children. In that way, she was a single of us.

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Picture: Royal Windsor (AP)