As of today the Queen is officially the UK’s longest serving monarch, overtaking her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years.
And what better way to pay tribute than to look at something we in Lookers have in common with the Queen – a love of cars!
The Queen trained as a driver and mechanic during World War 2, drove a military truck and learned to change a tyre. Her passion for driving is now almost as legendary as her reign and through the years she has been pictured behind the wheel – or as a passenger – in some of the most iconic British cars.
For most of her official engagements however, The Queen travels in a State car. As regal as the Queen herself all come with a distinct pedigree and heritage.
Used solely for public engagements and even some ceremonial occasions such as the trooping of the colour and the opening of Parliament State cars have a very specific brief. They must transport their passengers in a style which is safe, efficient and dignified, allowing as many people as possible to see The Queen or other members of the Royal Family.
For her 2011 wedding to Prince William the Duchess of Cambridge was driven to Westminster Abbey in a Rolls Royce Phantom VI, which had been presented to the Queen for her silver jubilee back in 1977 from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Famously William then drove his new bride back to Buckingham Palace in a vintage Aston Martin DB6 (pictured).
There are eight State limousines in the Royal fleet - two Bentleys, three Rolls-Royces and three Daimlers. Other vehicles include a number of Volkswagen SUV’s.
State cars are painted in a distinct Royal claret livery and the newest of these was presented to the Queen to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002. This one-off design was created by a Bentley-led consortium of British motor industry manufacturers and suppliers, along with input from The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and the Royal Household’s Head Chauffeur.
If a Bentley were to park alongside your own car it may block your sun! At 6.22 metres long, its wheelbase is 1.4 metres longer than that of an average family sized saloon and although they have powerful engines, Bentleys, like any other cars, are subject to normal speed restrictions. On processional occasions, they travel at around 9 miles per hour, and sometimes even as slow as 3 miles per hour.
The rear seats are upholstered in Hield Lambswool Sateen cloth whilst all remaining upholstery is in light grey Connolly hide. Carpets are pale blue in the rear and dark blue in the front.
The Phantom IV, built 65 years ago has the honour of being the oldest in the fleet. It was the most exclusive Rolls Royce model ever built and one of the most elite cars in the history of motoring. Only eighteen were made between 1950 and 1956, seventeen of which were sold - exclusively to royalty and heads of state. Sixteen are currently preserved in museums, public and private collections.
Its delivery in July 1950 its delivery was accompanied by a public announcement stating the Phantom IV had been "designed to the special order of Their Royal Highnesses, the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh".
Still in use today for trips to Ascot its first outing took place on April 10th 1952 when it took the Queen to Westminster Abbey.
By Tracey McBain