As England grieves the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we reminisce about her love of luxury cars and the open road over the years.
Queen Elizabeth II loved three things: her country, her corgis and pushing fly whips.
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.
May she rest in peace.
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong