The Crown Jewels of the Road: The Royal Family’s Love Affair with Cars

The Crown Jewels of the Road: The Royal Family’s Love Affair with Cars

During Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, a whole section of the pageant was given over to the Royal passion for championing Great British car marques.

While the King’s Coronation will be a more serious state affair, and we’re not expecting anything similar, Charles III is the most famed car lover in the Royal family.

Cinch, the leading online car marketplace, takes you on a regal ride to discover some of the iconic cars owned by King Charles and the Royals.

King Charles

Over the decades, the UK’s new head of state has driven cars that would make many motorists green with envy.

One of the King’s proudest possessions is a blue Aston Martin DB6 Volante, a precious gift from his mother for his 21st birthday.

In 2008, in line with his passion for sustainability and the environment, he decided to modernise the engine. Since then, the DB6 Volante has run on by-products from the British wine and cheese industries.

The monarch also has a soft spot for electric cars.

In 2019, he purchased one of the first all-electric Jaguar I-Pace cars seen in the UK. He sometimes uses the I-Pace for official duties to minimise air pollution as he travels around the country.

The Queen

The late Queen Elizabeth II was used to being chauffeured across the UK to attend ceremonies and events. During formal occasions, the Queen was often seen in a Bentley State Limousine, which she received from the manufacturer in celebration of her 50th anniversary on the throne in 2002.

When the reigning monarch is abroad, the Bentley ornament on the bonnet is replaced with a silver sculpture of St George slaying the dragon. This practice remains in the reign of King Charles III.

Whenever she had the chance, the Queen was more than happy to jump behind the wheel herself.

It is believed that one of her favourite vehicles was the Vauxhall Cresta PA Friary Estate, which was tailored to her outdoorsy needs and hobbies. In fact, it included features such as a dog guard for her corgis, a gun rack for pheasant shooting and fishing rod holders on the car’s roof.

Prince Philip

Prince Philip was passionate about cars too and had a particular fondness for Land Rovers. On the day of his funeral in 2021, the Prince Consort’s coffin was transported by a bronze-green Land Rover Td5 Defender 130. In collaboration with Land Rover, this military-inspired hearse was designed and adjusted by the Prince himself over the course of 16 years.

The British car brand provided the family with three cars for the funeral, just in case there were any breakdowns before or during the Prince’s final journey.

Prince William

Like many budding motorists, the Duke of Cambridge started his driving career at the wheel of a Ford Focus. The Prince passed his practical test at the age of 17 after taking about 20 driving lessons.

For his 17th birthday, William received a Volkswagen Golf from his father. Interestingly, Kate Middleton, his future wife and Duchess of Cambridge, owned a VW Golf around the same time too. She bought it before driving off to university.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry is another member of the Royal family with a passion for cars. For his wedding, who can forget those iconic images of him whisking new bride Meghan away in a Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero, an electric version of one of the brand’s most iconic designs. He’s also been seen in the driving seat of a Jaguar F-Type, a two-seater sports car known for its speed and sleek looks.

Prince Harry was also the owner of an Audi RS6 Avant, which he used to drive himself and Meghan to Pippa Middleton’s evening wedding reception. However, after clocking almost 4,500 miles, he sold this Audi model in 2018 for £71,900.

Princess Anne

Princess Anne is a big fan of Scimitar cars. The first one she ever owned was an Air Force blue 1970 GTE, a joint 20th birthday and Christmas present from her parents.

Since then, the Royal Princess has added another eight Scimitars to her collection. All her models have kept the original vehicle’s 1420 H registration plate, which commemorates and honours her position as Colonel-in-Chief.

Despite often being chauffeured to Royal appointments, members of the family have acquired their own collection of remarkable motors over the years. Whether it’s a wine- and cheese-powered Aston Martin, an all-electric I-Pace or an inconspicuous VW Golf, the Royals know how to pick the right vehicle for their travelling lifestyle.


About Cinch:

Cinch takes the faff out of finding and buying a used car that’s right for you. You can browse thousands of cars in our range – we’ve quality-checked each and everyone – or try our Help Me Choose tool and narrow the search to the things that matter most to you. Once you’ve bought your car with us online, we’ll deliver it to your door. You even get a 14-day money-back guarantee should you change your mind.

Cinch is backed by the Constellation Automotive Group, the UK and Europe’s largest market-leading integrated digital car marketplace. The Group operates some of the most well-known brands in the automotive industry including WeBuyAnyCar, BCA, cinch, Marshall Motor Group and CarNext, who together employ over 16,000 people across 12 countries and provide services that involve over 11 million different vehicles each year.

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