Looking over the vehicles of choice for many world leaders, there’s a common trend amongst many. They are usually large, powerful, limousine-styled vehicles with the occasional connection to the country of origin. France’s President recently swapped out a Citroën C6 for the all-new DS 7 Crossback, while Felipe VI, the King of Spain often opts for a classic Rolls Royce to nip around in. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that our adored Queen chose vehicles from the finest of British brands as her run-around, but her love affair with Land Rover is one that quite literally spanned her entire 70 years on the throne.
Over the years, Land Rovers have ferried the Queen to and around countless ceremonial events, but she’d also been pictured behind the wheel of dozens of them. The royal relationship with the brand goes back to 1948, when the Queen's father, King George VI, was presented with the 100th production Land Rover. Considering Land Rover are no stranger to a marketing campaign or two, back then this move was a stroke of genius. The Land Rover fitted perfectly into the lives of the Royal Family, who spent much of their spare time around the grounds of Balmoral and on outdoor pursuits, making this rugged off-road the ideal machine.
The Land Rover was a car built for anyone, for anything. It looked as at home caked in mud and straw as it did parked neatly on a residential street, meaning it was the ideal vehicle for Her Majesty to be photographed in. Although she needn’t have a UK driver's licence by law, Elizabeth II took her driving test in 1945 when she was a member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, training as a mechanic and military truck driver.
Shortly after The Queen was crowned, Land Rover supplied the first bespoke 'State Review' car for a royal tour of the Commonwealth in 1953. The 71,000-kilometre trip took six months to complete, with the bespoke Landy featuring an elevated viewing area at the rear, so the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh could be spotted by passing crowds with ease!
Over the passing decades, both Her Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family would often be spotted with a Land Rover not too far away, displaying the deep connection between the two. Some of our favourite photographs of The Queen are images taken more recently, where she could be seen ferrying guests around the grounds of Sandringham House in a British Racing Green over Tan L322 Range Rover. Donning perhaps her greatest love of all, Her Majesty’s Range Rover had a silver Labrador emblem directly in the middle of the bonnet, serving as a reminder of her love for animals and dogs in particular. This example was reportedly in use for over 15 years, becoming a loyal companion to her during this time.
The world will remember Her Majesty for many, many things. Her inspiring messages during the hardest of times, her glorious pastel outfits, the love she had for playing jokes on unsuspecting victims, and in our case, the incredible automobiles that have played an integral part in her incredible life. As these poignant times cause us to think of our loved ones and the ones we’ve lost, we are certain her legacy will go on for an eternity.