Prince Philip has been taking criticism regarding his driving due to a recent accident. However, his wife, Queen Elizabeth, is as confident as ever behind the wheel. The 92-year-old monarch gets to enjoy a variety of perks due to her royal position. Although she has never taken a driver’s test or had a driver’s license, she’s been driving freely since her teens. In fact, the monarch is not even required to use a license plate, according to News.com.au. This exception allows her to travel with less of a chance of being recognized, contributing to her safety.
Queen Elizabeth has always loved driving and has an impressive collection of luxury vehicles. In total, her car collection is said to be worth $18 million, and includes brands such as Bentley, Land Rover, and Jaguar.
When she was 18-years-old and still a princess, Elizabeth was an army driver during wartime. In the midst of World War 2, she was determined to lend a helping hand. After months of begging her father, she was allowed to train as a mechanic for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service. She remains the only female member of the royal family to have entered the armed forces, according to History.
Queen Elizabeth II does not have a passport despite visiting over 115 countries and does not have a drivers license despite driving. pic.twitter.com/CExSWSgOcz— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) January 22, 2019
She was such an assertive driver that she once scared King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia with her skills. When Abdullah and former British Ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles made a visit to Elizabeth’s Balmoral estate, they were both surprised when she slipped into the driver’s seat without a second thought. “As instructed, the crown prince climbed into the front seat of the front Land Rover, with his interpreter in the seat behind. To his surprise, the Queen climbed into the driving seat, turned the ignition and drove off,” Mr. Cowper-Coles later recalled.
To them it was a shocking move, as women were not allowed to legally drive in Saudi Arabia at that time. The Queen wasn’t wasting any time and didn’t hesitate to step on the gas. The crown prince was visibly nervous, urging her to slow down. “Through his interpreter, the crown prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead,” said Mr. Cowper-Coles.
It’s not typical to see photos of the Queen in the driver’s seat now, as she is usually driven to formal engagements. However, she still drives frequently to get around her estate.
Meanwhile, many are questioning if Prince Philip should be allowed to drive himself. He was lucky to be uninjured after a recent car crash that caused his Land Rover to flip.