As the monarch of the world power Britain, Queen Elizabeth II’s safety is a top priority. That probably means she doesn’t drive herself places, right?
Queen Elizabeth II does drive herself on occasion. However, in 2019 she announced that she would no longer be driving on public roads. She learned how to drive when she worked as a mechanic and truck driver during WWII. The Queen is not required to have a driver’s license and is the owner of a large car collection.
You can read more below about Queen Elizabeth II’s decision to stop driving on public roads, why she doesn’t have a license, and what’s in her car collection.
Queen Elizabeth II Will No Longer Drive on Public Roads
While she has been driving since WWII, Queen Elizabeth II announced that she would no longer be driving on public roads. This was at the end of March 2019, and just a month shy of her 93rd birthday.
She also had good reason to be quitting the public roads as it was now becoming a safety risk. To still be driving publicly in her nineties brought on a lot of criticism.
This sentiment was further fueled when her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, got into a car accident.
On January 17, 2019, Prince Philip was driving his Land Rover near the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. That was when sunlight obstructed his view and he crashed into another vehicle.
Philip’s Land Rover flipped onto its side, yet he was able to emerge from the vehicle completely unharmed. He was 97-years-old at the time of the incident.
When he found out that he could be charged for the accident, he decided it would be best to give up his driver’s license.
Philip had retired from the public eye in 2017 after 65-years of public service.
It was over two months after Prince Philip’s accident that Queen Elizabeth II announced that she would no longer be driving on public roads. This decision was at the request of her security team.
It was reported that she was probably very reluctant to make this decision as she is known to enjoy driving vehicles from her extensive car collection.
Of course, she can still drive the vehicles. However, that driving will be restricted to the private roads of her estates.
You can watch the below archive footage to see Queen Elizabeth II driving during her service with ATS during WWII.
The Queen Doesn’t Have a Driver’s License
Unlike Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II did not have a driver’s license to hand over when she announced that she would no longer be driving on public roads. That is because she is exempt from getting one.
In fact, Queen Elizabeth II is the only person in all of the United Kingdom who is not required to have a license to drive.
During WWII, Queen Elizabeth II was simply Princess Elizabeth and she lived with her family at Buckingham Palace while it was repeatedly bombed. She was only 13 when the war broke out in 1939 and when she turned 18 she insisted on joining the war effort.
Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) where she learned to be a mechanic and truck driver. This sparked a lifelong love for cars in the young monarch.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Car Collection
With a love for speedy vehicles, Queen Elizabeth II has amassed quite the car collection over the years. In fact, it is reportedly worth over £10 million which is almost $14 million USD.
The Queen even has favorite car brands. Those brands seem to be Bentley, Range Rover, Rolls Royce, and Jaguar.
This car collection also contains a huge number of classic cars from all of these car brands. No wonder it’s worth so much!
Some of the rarer cars that sit within her collection are a Mercedes Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet, a 1970 Daimler Vanden Plas, a 1956 Ford Zephyr Estate, and a 1925 Rolls-Royce Twenty.
Queen Elizabeth II is also the proud owner of the most expensive collectibles in the world, a 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. However, it’s still not the rarest vehicle in her transportation collection.
She owns the Edward VII Town Coach that was restored in 1964. It is virtually priceless.
At her disposal, Queen Elizabeth II also has the Royal Gold State Coach that was built in 1760 by Samuel Butler. It is another priceless piece, however, the Queen does not own it she is merely its steward.