Princess Auto Mechanic: Queen Elizabeth II is remembered for her service as a WWII driver

by | Sep 9, 2022 - 10:33AM | Lifestyle

Queen Elizabeth II has died aged 96. 

The Queen, who was the longest-reigning monarch in British history, is being remembered for her love of cars and her service as a WWII ambulance driver. 

At just 18 years old, then-Princess Elizabeth joined the British military, serving in the Women’s Auxiliary Territory Services during WWII.

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She was the first woman from the Royal Family to ever serve in the military. 

During her service, she drove army ambulances and also worked on military trucks.


The public loved her for putting her hand up for military duty and greatly respected her interest in machinery. 

As a result, she was dubbed Princess Auto Mechanic. 

Queen Elizabeth WWII

Some incredible stories have come from her time in the military, including from soldiers who were caught by surprise to see the princess.

“During an air raid on London during WWII, a vehicle suffered a flat. My father rushed out, opened the door and carried the young female driver to the safety of an alley then went back and changed the tire,” John Whitman said.

“As she drove away his mates said “that was the bloody princess!”

Her love of vehicles and driving never ceased, as she was constantly pictured behind the wheel of her many cars. 

In fact, she loved driving so much that she was often photographed driving against doctor’s orders. 

Just last year, the then-95-year-old was pictured in her iconic headscarf and sunglasses behind the wheel of her Jaguar estate car just days after being released from the hospital.

Oh, and she did all of this without a driver’s license because, well, the Queen doesn’t need one.

She also never had to take a driving test.

And she was the only person who was allowed to drive publicly without a number plate on her state car.

Queen Elizabeth didn’t just love driving, she loved her cars.

So, let’s take a look at her incredible collection, which included a one-of-18 Rolls Royce and the first ever 2016 Bentley Bentayga.

And we can’t forget her beloved Land Rover Defender, which she was often pictured tearing around her estate.

Queen Elizabeth II Car Collection
1955 Rolls Royce Phantom IV State Landaulet 
1961 Vauxhall Cresta Pa Friary Estate 
2002 Bentley State Limousine 
2015 Range Rover LWB Laundaulet 
2002 Land Rover Defender 
2016 Bentley Bentayga
2001 Jaguar Daimler V8 Super LWB 
1970 Aston Martin Volante DB6

The Queen’s death was announced late on Thursday, with the official release saying she “died peacefully at Balmoral”.

“The King and Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” the official release said.

Following Queen Elizabeth’s death on Thursday, her son Charles will ascend the throne to become King Charles III.


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