Queen Elizabeth II loved her country, her corgis, and her cars. As England mourns her passing, we take a look back at her love of luxury cars and driving on the open road.
Royal protocol, even for a Queen, means chauffeurs were in order for official events, but outside of that, she never turned down an opportunity to get in the driver’s seat. Unlike her royal contemporaries, or the general beau monde, you can find more photos of the Queen peering over the steering wheel rather than quietly sipping Champagne in the back.
As the story goes, Liz caught the need for speed while getting her hands dirty as a driver and mechanic for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II, and her passion for the road never waned. In 1998, she famously took King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia — traditionally not an ideal place for women drivers — for a spin around her Balmoral Estate in Scotland. The King was reportedly concerned that she was going too fast.
Despite the fact that she never actually received her driver’s license (one of the perks of having the licenses themselves issued in your name), she was easily the most likely member of England’s royal family to have seen all of the Fast & Furious films, even the Dwayne Johnson / Jason Statham buddy cop vehicle, Hobbs & Shaw.
From her Daimlers and Jaguars to her Bentleys and Range Rovers, we dug into the archives for some seriously cool shots of the original Queen of the Road.
Born in Seoul and based in Hong Kong, Nathan has been writing about culture, style and food for some of the world's biggest publications for over a decade. He likes Canon lenses and the films of Chow Yun Fat.