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Official Cars of the Royal Family

Posted on: June 18, 2014 by Platinum Direct

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Have you ever jokingly offered a ‘royal wave’ as you drive away from a friend? Or pretended you were being chauffeured like one of the Royals as you sat in the back of a taxi?

While it might be nice to imagine from time to time, the reality of the royal family’s busy schedule means that they require a whole fleet of vehicles to shuttle them around from one engagement to another.

Whether it be a public event, a state visit, or a ceremony (wedding, anyone?), there are eight State limousines in use. The Royals can choose from two Bentleys, three Rolls-Royces and three Daimlers, and if they’re expecting a crowd, they even have Volkswagen ‘people carriers’ at their beck and call.

These State vehicles are used in locations across the United Kingdom for visits by the Queen, with one or more of the State fleet of cars usually sent ahead to the Queen’s destination, so they are available for her use upon arrival. These special vehicles have even travelled with her on overseas visits – they are flown to destinations around the world when the Queen is travelling abroad, while the Royal Yacht Britannia even features its own specially constructed garage to house her Rolls Royce.

But while these custom-built vehicles are today’s pinnacle of Royal transport evolution, things weren’t always this way. Back when the Queen was at an age when most of us would be applying for car finance, she was being chauffeured around in a 1950 Rolls Royce Phantom IV, one of only 18 built for heads of state and royalty. This vehicle is still being used today when the Queen and Prince Philip attend the races at Ascot each year.

1950 Royal Rolls-Royce Phantom
Source: forgottengent.com

Interestingly, the Queen’s vehicles are not required to display any registration number plates on the front or rear. They also feature bulletproof armour and glass, while the interior can be sealed off in case of a gas attack. In keeping with the times, the Bentleys were converted to run on biofuel several years ago. Another noteworthy fact is that the Queen has a choice of unique ornaments for use on the bonnet of her State cars – one of St George slaying the dragon, and another of a standing lion. Each can be unscrewed and transferred to any one of the fleet of cars garaged in the Royal Mews.

Visibility is an important factor in the Royal fleet. State cars can be recognised by their Royal Claret livery, but this is not their only identifying feature. The Bentleys are fitted with a removable exterior roof covering, which exposes a clear inner lining that provides a 360-degree view of the interior, to increase the public’s opportunities of a Royal sighting. The rear doors on the Bentleys are also hinged at the back and are designed to allow the Queen to stand upright before stepping down to the ground.

Queens Bentley State Limousine
Source: wikipedia

Nowadays, the younger Royals like to be seen in something a little racier, like the Aston Martin DB6 MKII Volante that Prince William and Princess Katherine drove on their wedding day. Originally a present from the Queen and Prince Philip to Prince Charles on his 21st birthday, this classic sports car was driven by a smiling Wills and Kate as they waved to the cheering crowds surrounding Buckingham Palace after their highly-publicised wedding.

1969 Aston Martin DB6 Mk II VOLANTE
Source: dailymail.co.uk

Now that’s travelling in style.

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