Sure, we know a lot about the Queen’s hobbies. She loves horse racing and corgis and Eastenders (yes, really). But new photos have revealed her other secret passion: Getting behind the wheel and putting a pedal to the metal. Over the weekend pictures have emerged of of Her Majesty behind the wheel of a Range Rover ferrying not only the Duchess of Cambridge but also Kate’s mother, Carole, around the Balmoral Castle estate. According to People, Her Majesty was shuttling the Middleton women to and from a late summer picnic with William.
It’s not the first time that the 90-year-old has put the pedal to the metal for a guests: In 1998 she surprised Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, in whose own country it is illegal for women to drive, by taking the wheel and personally driving him around her estate. According to The Times, His Royal Highness begged the Queen, via his interpreter, to slow down as they traversed the Scottish countryside, The Times has reported.
In fact, according to those who have actually ridden shotgun with the great-grandmother, she really does adore being in the drivers seat. "The Queen loves to drive around Windsor Castle and does her own driving when at home, often in a Land Rover (it has been said that she has always preferred manual to automatic),” Vanity Fair contributing editor Reinaldo Herrera, has written.
The Queen is said to have learned to drive during the second world war when she drove a first aid truck and, we would guess, is the only reigning sovereign who actually knows how to change a spark plug. And while she doesn’t have a license, she doesn’t actually need one. She is the only person in the U.K. Who does not need to have a license or even number plate on her state car.