Though driving seems like an everyday activity, it’s rare for royals to be seen behind the wheel. However, the Duchess of Cambridge threw caution to the wind as she was spotted driving herself to Buckingham Palace, much to the delight of surrounding tourists.
One fan even caught the moment Kate Middleton arrived at the palace and posted it to her Instagram. The 36-year-old Duchess still drives herself occasionally, but it’s rare to see royals stationed behind the wheel when they have a team of escorts at their beck and call.
Having an experienced, professional chauffeur comes with the territory of being a royal. After all, the royals deserve a safe driving experience because of their royal status. It’s estimated that 1.5 million Americans are arrested each year due to drunk driving. This statistic is enough to make anyone prefer a professional behind the wheel.
But it’s becoming more common for the royal family to drive themselves nowadays. Even the queen, at 90 years old, is still seen driving her custom-built cars around London. In fact, the queen doesn’t even need a license, making her the only person in the UK who can legally drive without one.
In fact, the queen’s Bentley Bentayga can reach up to 187 miles per hour and costs nearly $230,000 alone. On top of this, she has a custom-built range rover, two more custom Bentleys, and a Land Rover to roam the streets of London. With prices like these, it’s no wonder the auto body industry is valued for more than $42 billion.
It’s not surprising that the queen would want to drive now and then.
In fact, the queen is a quite competent driver. She learned to drive after serving as a mechanic and driver back in World War II at the age of 19. Though she needed her license as a princess, she no longer needs one after being crowned. In fact, she doesn’t even need a passport to travel since all the documents are made in the name of the queen. In this case, her name.
Why would the royals want to drive when they have the best fleet of chauffeurs in London? According to Prince William and Prince Harry, however, driving gives them a sense of normalcy. It’s reported by that the two even drove their wives to their father’s 70th birthday this year.
It becomes more complicated, however, when the royal family grows larger. For example, it’s said that Prince Harry had to teach Meghan Markle to drive in the UK despite her competency in America. The lifestyle change following her marriage may not make her the most experienced driver in the UK and it’s unknown whether or not she has received her license in the UK.
Seeing the royals behind the wheel may not be as rare as we thought.