You would think that if you were a member of Britain’s royal family that you would find the act of driving yourself somewhere without a chauffeur to be so terribly, terribly common. But the fact of the matter is the most famous recent female royals all have had a love affair with the automobile at some point or other in their lives. The history stretches all the way from Queen Elizabeth on down to her new granddaughter-in-law, Princess Kate Middleton who recently wed the future King of England, Prince William.
It is a well-known fact that Queen Elizabeth herself still insists on driving herself and her many little Corgi dogs around Balmoral Castle in Scotland in very utilitarian and old school Land Rover SUVs. Apparently the Queen worked as a mechanic during World War Two and even knows a thing or two about how to fix a broken down Landie. That must come in handy, then. Just because you are the Queen doesn’t mean you want to waste money on repair bills.
Following in the footsteps of Her Royal Highness, when Princess Diana was still a single gal dating Prince Charles she drove an Audi 80 convertible which sparked a craze for that model in the U.K. Prior to that car getting the Diana seal of approval, Audi’s U.K. sales were abysmal and in the years following that country became the second largest market for cars wearing the four interlocking rings after Germany. The U.K. has now taken a back seat to China when it comes to Audi sales but thanks to Diana’s influence the company still sells more vehicles in Britain than it does in the United States.Page 4
Now finally we get down to our new favorite royal who can pull off wearing seemingly any inordinately sized hat—Princess Kate. During her years at University and when she was still single she drove a VW Golf which she recently and most graciously auctioned off for charity to the tune of the equivalent of $70,000. Coincidentally, VW has reported that sales of the latest Golf have gone up in the U.K. once “commoners” learned of the vehicular preferences of their elegantly stylish new Princess.
Taking things one step further, it appears that Prince William and Princess Kate both enjoy driving to nearby shops and doing their own shopping as part of married life. The only difference between them and those who don’t have blue blood is the fact that their chosen ride is often times a classic Aston Martin convertible that gained international fame during their nuptials when Prince William used it to drive off with his new bride. Now that is a car that would make any King or Queen fire the chauffeur.