The Queen and the Land Rover
Queen Elizabeth II is not only renowned for being the only female member of the royal family to have entered the armed forces and is the only living head of state who served in World War II, but it’s also widely known that she is a fan of the Land Rover.
The Queen’s relationship with Land Rover extends back to 1948, when her father King George VI was presented with the 100th production vehicle. As marketing ploys go, it was a work of genius, because it gave Land Rover the kind of exposure that money can’t buy. The 4×4 also fitted in well with the Royal family’s love of outdoor pursuits. While the Land Rover was a car of the people, marketed as the „go anywhere” option „for the farmer, the countryman and general industrial use.”
As a matter of fact, the Queen has already been a brilliant driver by 1948 as she’d first learned to drive in February 1945 as part of the Auxiliary Territorial Service.
Known as Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor, she donned a pair of coveralls and trained in London as a mechanic and military truck driver, which definitely bumps up her coolness factor in our minds. (Interestingly the monarch doesn’t require a license to hit the roads.)
So since 1948 the offroad machines have been a mainstay of the royal family.
The Queen took delivery of her first Land Rover shortly before coming to the throne in 1952 and has used them ever since. For instance we can see her on the Land Rover serving the HMS Albion aircraft career in 1957.
Over the decades you often would see the royals being toted around in a fleet of Land Rovers. The Royal Family is quite well known for its outdoor tendencies, so the Land Rover is a perfect fit.
On this picture shot in 1972, the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh looks on as Prince Edward plays on the roof of their Land Rover and Prince Andrew leans against the vehicle.
You can even still see Queen Elizabeth driving her Defender 110 around the Balmoral Castle in Scotland from time to time.
This is why Helen Mirren was driving a Land Rover in the leading role of the movie The Queen, a performance that earned her an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
Talking about films, we cannot forget to mention the highly successful Netflix series The Crown, in the first season of which we can watch the Land Rover 109” Series II during the scenes in Africa.