Queen elizabeth range rover

That one time when Queen Elizabeth hazed the crown prince of Saudi Arabia

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is many things: corgi owner, eager participant in Olympic stunts, the UK’s longest-reigning monarch. As of her birthday today, 90 years old.

And as this story from a former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia makes clear, she is also a stone-cold badass.

The queen spent an afternoon using her military-grade driving skills to haze the crown prince of Saudi Arabia

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles was given a private audience with the queen when he was appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 2003. At the time, Abdullah was technically still the crown prince, though he’d been de facto ruler for several years. During their meeting, the queen gleefully recounted the story of Abdullah’s first visit to Balmoral, her castle in Scotland. It all started innocently enough, with an offer to tour the estate:

After lunch, the Queen had asked her royal guest whether he would like a tour of the estate. Prompted by his foreign minister the urbane Prince Saud, an initially hesitant Abdullah had agreed. The royal Land Rovers were drawn up in front of the castle. As instructed, the Crown Prince climbed into the front seat of the front Land Rover, his interpreter in the seat behind.

But then, a surprising twist! The queen herself was Abdullah’s driver:

To his surprise, the Queen climbed into the driving seat, turned the ignition and drove off. Women are not — yet — allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a queen.

And she wasn’t just driving, she was DRIVING, leaving Abdullah a quivering wreck:

His nervousness only increased as the Queen, an Army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover along the narrow Scottish estate roads, talking all the time. Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead.

That’s right: Queen Elizabeth basically spent an afternoon using her military-grade driving skills to haze the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

Result: Elizabeth 1, Abdullah 0.

Hat tip to Peter W. Singer.

The Queen is reportedly giving up driving on public roads following Prince Philip’s car crash two months ago.

Her Majesty is the only person in the UK allowed to drive without a licence, but agreed to stop driving on the advice of her security team, according to The Sunday Times.

Instead she will be chauffeured on public roads.

While protocol dictates the Queen has to be driven to public engagements, despite her age up until now she still gets into the driver’s seat to get around her estates and for private events.

The Queen, who turns 93 this month, would have been reluctant to give up the privilege.

Queen Elizabeth’s car collection is estimated to be worth upwards of $NZD18 million, with the royal favouring up-market brands like Land Rover, Range Rover, Bentley and Jaguar.

The Queen has never had to take a driving test and is able to drive without a number plate as part of the discretionary powers she enjoys as monarch.

At the age of 18, Elizabeth, then a princess, trained as a driver and mechanic for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War 2.

Queen Elizabeth’s car collection is estimated to be worth upwards of $NZD18 million. (Photo / Getty)

Since then she has reportedly been a confident driver, even famously once scaring King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia with her skills.

In 1998, King Abdullah visited the Queen at her Balmoral estate, with former British ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles telling The Sunday Times the Saudi monarch had been unnerved by her fast driving.

“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 recalled, adding it had been a time when women couldn’t legally drive in Saudi Arabia.

“His nervousness only increased as the Queen, an army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover along the narrow Scottish estate roads, talking all the time.

“Through his interpreter, the crown prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead.”

Prince Philip ‘voluntarily’ surrendered his driving licence in February weeks after his car crash.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “After careful consideration The Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence.”

Prince Philip gave up his driver’s licence voluntarily following February’s car crash. Photo / Getty Images

The Duke of Edinburgh, 97, was trapped after the vehicle he was driving collided with a Kia carrying two women and a baby.

He was unhurt but was checked by a doctor.

Both of the women and baby travelling in the Kia received hospital treatment, one for a broken wrist.

The Duke later admit to cops he had been “dazzled by the sun”.

The Queen is reportedly giving up driving on public roads following Prince Philip’s car crash two months ago.

Her Majesty is the only person in the UK allowed to drive without a licence, but agreed to stop driving on the advice of her security team, according to The Sunday Times.

Instead she will be chauffeured on public roads.

While protocol dictates the Queen has to be driven to public engagements, despite her age up until now she still gets into the driver’s seat to get around her estates and for private events.

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The Queen, who turns 93 this month, would have been reluctant to give up the privilege.

READ MORE: Crash victim ‘lucky to be alive’: Prince Philip has not said sorry

Queen Elizabeth’s car collection is estimated to be worth upwards of $NZD18 million, with the royal favouring up-market brands like Land Rover, Range Rover, Bentley and Jaguar.

The Queen has never had to take a driving test and is able to drive without a number plate as part of the discretionary powers she enjoys as monarch.

At the age of 18, Elizabeth, then a princess, trained as a driver and mechanic for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War 2.

Queen Elizabeth II driving her children Prince Charles and Princess Anne at Windsor, watched by a group of onlookers in 1957. Photo / Getty Images

Since then she has reportedly been a confident driver, even famously once scaring King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia with her skills.

In 1998, King Abdullah visited the Queen at her Balmoral estate, with former British ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles telling The Sunday Times the Saudi monarch had been unnerved by her fast driving.

Queen Elizabeth’s car collection is estimated to be worth upwards of $NZD18 million. Photo / Getty Images

“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 recalled, adding it had been a time when women couldn’t legally drive in Saudi Arabia.

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“His nervousness only increased as the Queen, an army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover along the narrow Scottish estate roads, talking all the time.

The royals love their Land Rovers. Photo / Getty Images

“Through his interpreter, the crown prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead.”

Prince Philip ‘voluntarily’ surrendered his driving licence in February weeks after his car crash.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “After careful consideration The Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence.”

Prince Philip gave up his driver’s licence voluntarily following February’s car crash. Photo / Getty Images

The Duke of Edinburgh, 97, was trapped after the vehicle he was driving collided with a Kia carrying two women and a baby.

He was unhurt but was checked by a doctor.

Both of the women and baby travelling in the Kia received hospital treatment, one for a broken wrist.

The Duke later admit to cops he had been “dazzled by the sun”.

Queen Elizabeth’s Range Rover and Other Custom-Built Cars Her Majesty Owns

Could you imagine the queen driving you around in one of her custom-built and rare cars? For members of the royal family, it’s not that crazy of a thought. At 92-years-old, Her Majesty is still sharp as ever and enjoys the occasional drive when visiting one of her many estates. Up ahead, we take a closer look at Queen Elizabeth’s Range Rover, as well as other rare cars in her collection.

Queen Elizabeth owns a number of cars, including a custom-built Range Rover. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Queen driving

Despite having chauffeurs at her beck and call, Queen Elizabeth can — and still does — drive. And, she has quite the collection of cars to joy ride. But, unlike other British citizens (yes, the queen is technically a British citizen), Her Majesty doesn’t require a license to operate her vehicles.

While she is most often photographed in the backseat of one of her custom-built cars, paparazzi have also spotted the queen driving her Range Rover and other vehicles in her collection on her days off. She’s even driven Kate Middleton and Carole Middleton around in her beloved Land Rover Defender!

Queen Elizabeth’s Range Rover

Photos of the queen driving are quite hilarious. In the photographs, Her Majesty navigates through the streets of England in her 2015 Range Rover LWB Landaulet. However, she doesn’t always drive the custom-made vehicle, as she often uses it for royal processions and her hands need to be free for waving and other royal things.

Inside Queen Elizabeth’s rare car collection

The queen’s Range Rover isn’t the only impressive car in her collection. On top of the custom-built vehicle, she owns around 25 rare cars — some of which she shows off more than others. Keep reading for an inside look at Buckingham Palace’s garage jewels.

Bentley State Limousine

Much like the President of the United States, Queen Elizabeth has a State Limousine that she often uses for official engagements (when she’s not using her Range Rover, that is). Created specifically for Her Majesty in 2002 to mark her Golden Jubilee, the queen often rides in the backseat of her custom-built Bentley State Limousine

In addition to official engagements, the queen uses her Bentley State Limousine to go to church when staying at Balmoral Estate and Sandringham House.

Land Rover Defender

A Land Rover might not seem like a fancy schmancy car associated with the Queen of England and the royal family, but Her Majesty has had one since before she even ascended the throne. The queen has operated various Land Rovers, including her 2002 Land Rover Defender and can sometimes be seen driving it around the English countryside.

In addition to her Land Rover Defender, Queen Elizabeth II also has a 1953 Land Rover Series 1.

Aston Martin Volante DB6

The queen’s car collection also includes a stunning Aston Martin Volante DB6. Prince William and Kate Middleton drove off in the rare and classic car following their 2011 royal wedding.

Rolls-Royce Phantom V

The queen has a few Rolls-Royce models in her collection, including the 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V. The collectible is one of 516 models made.

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Prince Philip unhurt in crash while driving

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe BBC’s Nicholas Witchell says the Duke regularly drives in the Sandringham area

The Duke of Edinburgh has been involved in a car crash while driving near the Queen’s Sandringham estate, Buckingham Palace has said.

Prince Philip, 97, was not injured in the accident, which happened as he drove a Land Rover out of a driveway onto the A149 shortly before 15:00 GMT.

The other car involved was a Kia. Two women in it needed hospital treatment – they have since been discharged.

Eyewitnesses said the duke’s Land Rover overturned during the collision.

They said they helped the duke out of the vehicle. He was conscious but very, very shocked and shaken, they added.

Norfolk police said it was force policy to breath test drivers involved in collisions and both had provided negative readings.

The duke is back at Sandringham and has seen a doctor as a precaution.

A woman who drove past the crash scene – near Babingley, a small village north of King’s Lynn in Norfolk – at around 15:40 said she saw an ambulance and “a heavy police presence”.

“I was just going down the A149 … and saw a lot of blue flashing lights ahead,” she said. “I saw a black, 4×4 type car on its side and me and my son were like ‘oh my word, that doesn’t look good’.

“Luckily it was just sort of on the side of the road, the road wasn’t closed in any way.

“Obviously it looked quite smashed in. I’m quite amazed he is okay actually.”

Norfolk police confirmed officers were called to the scene shortly before 3pm after a Land Rover and a Kia were involved in a collision.

It had previously been reported the duke had been driving a Range Rover.

The driver of the Kia suffered cuts, while the passenger sustained an arm injury, police said. Both were treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPrince Philip crash: “People stopped to help” – eyewitness

A statement said the road remained open and both vehicles were recovered a short time later.

Nick Cobb, a long-time Babingley resident, was driving past with his 16-year-old daughter Emily at about 15:10 GMT when they spotted an overturned car about 100 yards from their house.

“The was on its side on a private road.

“The other car was well into the hedge on the opposite side of the road.

“There was lots of debris in the road, lots of glass and lots of other cars, some police cars, some from the Sandringham Estate and about six ordinary looking cars that looked as though they had stopped to help.

Image caption Smashed glass and parts of a car left at the roadside at the scene of the crash

“We only found out that it was the duke’s car when we saw it on the news. The road was not blocked by the crash and was open when we came past.”

The BBC’s Nic Rigby, at the scene, says all that’s left are pieces of broken glass and the remnants of a wing mirror.

It has been a chilly day, he adds, and there were small flurries of snow in parts of Norfolk, but nothing that troubled the county’s roads.

The Queen and Prince Philip have been staying at the estate in Norfolk since Christmas.

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, tweeted a prayer in support to the duke, and later another one for the two other people involved in the accident.

Analysis: ‘Surprise that the duke still drives’

By BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond

There will be several sharp intakes of breath over this accident.

The first will be over the good news – that the Duke escaped unscathed. A photo of what is believed to be the accident shows what looks like a Land Rover resting on its driver side, having turned or flipped as a result of the collision. That must have been some impact.

The duke was, a witness told the BBC, “very very shocked”. But the Palace says the duke was not injured and did not need medical treatment.

The duke is five months short of his 98th birthday. By anyone’s standards, getting away from an accident like that unhurt is pretty impressive.

There will be some surprise that the duke still drives himself on public roads. But he has always been fiercely independent, and would have resisted any suggestion that he be denied the right to drive himself.

And there will now be an investigation into the circumstances of the accident. It might be that the duke is about to be persuaded to give up the wheel.

Royal biographer Hugo Vickers told BBC News: “Any kind of car accident at the age of 97 is likely to produce shock.

“Some years ago he gave up flying planes long before he needed to because he was scared that if something happened there would be a lot of criticism.

“You know, why was he, at the age of 55, still flying a plane when he should have retired at 48 or something like that.

“So he does listen to these things – he’s very, very sensible.

“If anyone’s involved in a car accident, it’s quite a frightening thing. If he thought that he’d lost concentration or something or he hadn’t seen somebody he would realise he’s not up to it anymore.”

Image copyright PA

The president of the AA, Edmund King said high profile car crashes involving elderly drivers often spark calls for bans or restrictions on older drivers.

But he added: “If driving restrictions based on age and safety were introduced we would be more likely to restrict young drivers rather than older drivers.

“Young, predominantly male, drivers are much more likely to crash within six months of passing their test than older drivers within six months of hanging up their keys.

“Older drivers often self restrict their driving by not driving at night and only driving on familiar roads.”

The duke famously drove the Obamas when the then-US president and first lady visited Windsor in 2016.

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPrince Philip was 94 when he drove the Obamas and his wife, the Queen

A discussion on whether to put average speed cameras on the stretch of the A149 where the duke’s crash happened had already been planned by Norfolk County Council on Friday – prior to the crash.

Prince Philip retired from public life in August 2017 having spent decades supporting the Queen and attending events for his own charities and organisations.

Buckingham Palace calculated he had completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.

Since retiring from official solo duties, he has appeared in public alongside the Queen and other members of the royal family at events and church services.

He did not attend the Royal Family’s Christmas Day service at Sandringham last month.

UPDATE 2/10/19: Prince Philip has “voluntarily” given up his driver’s license, Buckingham Palace reported on Saturday. He had been seen driving with no seatbelt only days after the accident in which two people were injured. As in the United States, the United Kingdom has no set date by which anyone must give up a driver’s license.

UPDATE 1/18/19: The U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper reported on Friday morning that a replacement Land Rover Freelander has already been delivered to the royals’ Sandringham estate, inside a delivery truck under guard, to replace the same model that Prince Philip crashed on Thursday.

Prince Philip, the 97-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was involved in a car crash outside the queen’s Sandringham estate near Norfolk, England, today. The elderly patriarch, who retired from royal duties in 2017, reportedly was merging onto a highway and flipped the Land Rover he was driving after making contact with a Kia.

News photos show that the Land Rover flipped on its side; eyewitnesses cited by the BBC News said Prince Philip was “shocked and shaken” but not unconscious after the impact.

In a statement, Norfolk police said both Prince Philip and the woman driving the Kia were given a Breathalyzer test, and both test results were negative. The Kia driver and her female passenger were treated and released at a hospital, the driver for cuts and the passenger for an arm injury. BBC News is reporting that the royal was unhurt.

Getty Images

The investigation that is sure to follow should lead to much discussion about whether a person of his age and reported ill health should still be driving, but, as the BBC quoted the president of the U.K.’s AA driver organization as saying, “If driving restrictions based on age and safety were introduced, we would be more likely to restrict young drivers rather than older drivers.”

Prince Philip was shown driving a vehicle carrying President and Mrs. Obama, along with the queen, as recently as 2016.