Legal

Wed, 23 Jan, 2019Shannen Findlay

Why Queen Elizabeth doesn’t need a driver's license

Why Queen Elizabeth doesn’t need a driver's license

The royal family has faced a lot of criticism lately when it comes to driving, starting with Prince Philip’s car accident which saw him in a car crash with two women and a nine-month-old toddler.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 97, made headlines again two days later after he was seen driving again, this time without wearing a seatbelt.

Since then, questions have been raised as to why the royal is still on the road.

At the age of 92, the Queen also insists on still driving – and she doesn’t even have a driver’s license.

According to British law, the Queen is exempt from needing a driver's license to roam around in vehicles because licenses are issued in her name.

One of the discretionary powers or rights that she is exclusively not obligated to follow is the regulations and laws governing the road.

The 92-year-old learnt to drive at 18 though, when she trained as a driver and mechanic for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II.

The Queen is so confident on the roads, she famously unnerved King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia with her fast driving.

In 1998, she insisted on driving the then Prince Abdullah herself around the Balmoral estate in Scotland. The former British Ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles told the Sunday Times he was surprised when the Queen climbed into the driver’s seat.

“Women are not – yet – allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a Queen,” he said.

"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.”

The monarch’s car collection is estimated to be worth upward of $18 million, with the royal’s favourite brands consisting of Land Rover, Range Rover, Jaguar and Bentley.

What do you think about the Queen and Prince Philip still driving in their 90s? Let us know in the comments below. 

Comments