Queen Elizabeth II driving herself back to Windsor Castle after attending church in 2002. Picture: AP
Queen Elizabeth II driving herself back to Windsor Castle after attending church in 2002. Picture: AP

Queen to quit royal privilege

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 will reportedly no longer drive on public roads. Picture: Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth will reportedly no longer drive on public roads. Picture: Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth's car collection is estimated to be worth upwards of $AU18 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.

 

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 $AU18 million. Picture: AFP
Queen Elizabeth’s car collection is estimated to be worth upwards of $AU18 million. Picture: AFP

"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.

The royals love their Land Rovers.
The royals love their Land Rovers.

"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. Picture: Getty Images
Prince Philip gave up his driver’s licence voluntarily following February’s car crash. Picture: 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".