Her husband Prince Phillip might be facing scrutiny over a car accident, but Queen Elizabeth’s driving record couldn’t be more different.
The 92-year-old royal is the only person in the United Kingdom that doesn’t need a license to get behind the wheel and has been driving since her teens, according to Hello! magazine.
Queen Elizabeth’s car collection is estimated to be worth upwards of $18 million, with the royal favoring 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.
“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.
“Through his interpreter, the crown prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead.”
While protocol dictates the Queen has to be driven to public engagements, despite her age she still gets into the driver’s seat to get around her estates and for private events.
Meanwhile the Duke of Edinburgh’s driving remains under scrutiny after he was involved in an accident which saw his Land Rover flipped onto its side after it pulled out in front of an oncoming Kia.
The Kia was being driven by 28-year-old Ellie Townsend, with Emma Fairweather and a nine-month-old baby passengers.
Both women received minor injuries, with Ms. Fairweather breaking her wrist, while the baby was uninjured.
Just two days after the accident Prince Philip was spoken to by police after he was photographed driving without a seatbelt.
Ms. Fairweather has called for the “highly insensitive and inconsiderate” Duke to be held to account over the accident.
“There needs to be a decision as to whether Prince Philip and I are from the same walk of life here or not,” she said on British TV.
“I feel that his treatment has not been the same as mine.”