Everything to Know About Queen Elizabeth Driving: Why She Doesn’t Need a License
With her signature kerchief wrapped around her head, Queen Elizabeth rules both the road and Windsor Castle. The 95-year-old monarch is the only person in the U.K. who does not need to have a driver’s license in order to drive on public roads. Despite her recent health concerns, the Queen does not look like she is slowing down any time soon.
When she was 18 years old, Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II. She learned the ins and outs of being a mechanic and trained as a truck driver. She has been driving since her teen years, never having to take a driving test. It is one of the many laws she is allowed to break as the Queen.
In the early 2000s, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia visited Elizabeth at the palace, and she reportedly drove him around the property. He was said to be surprised when she hopped into the driver’s seat. Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, who was appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 2003, recounted the story.
“Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead,” he said.
In 2019, the late Prince Philip gave up driving after getting into a car accident. Elizabeth reportedly did the same when it came to driving on public roads. The royal family always has staff on hand to chauffeur them from place to place. But Elizabeth did not stay off the roads for long. She was spotted out driving a black Range Rover in September 2020.
In October 2021, Elizabeth stayed in the hospital for a night after growing health concerns. She was advised by doctors to rest for a few weeks and take a step back from her royal duties. Instead of traveling to Northern Ireland, she appeared virtually for several events, including the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
“The doctors have advised that Her Majesty can continue to undertake light, desk-based duties during this time, including some virtual Audiences, but not to undertake any official visits,” an official statement from Buckingham Palace said.
Elizabeth was spotted out after her virtual COP26 appearance. She drove around the Windsor estate in her green Jaguar. It has become one of her go-to vehicles that she has been photographed driving over the years.
After seven decades of being on the throne, Elizabeth has driven some pretty high-power cars, like her Bentley Bentayga and several Land Rovers. When she is not waving to onlookers in her gold state coach, she looks more than content behind the wheel of her own car.