With HRH’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend and 96e anniversary behind us and the momentary national flower of the United Kingdom, the Union Jack bunting, beginning to fade, and loyal Royalists and disgruntled Republicans back to reality, the floats of the House of Windsor once further piqued our interest.
I am not referring to the eight horse-drawn Gold State Coaches commissioned by King George III in 1760 and which have been used primarily at coronations since then, but the Aston Martins, Bentleys, Daimlers, Lagondas, Land- and Range Rovers , Jaguar and majestic Rolls-Royce. Her Majesty once commented on how uncomfortable the Gold State Coach is, so we’ll focus on a much more comfortable vehicle instead.
During the recent Platinum Jubilee of the Prince of Wales and his former doll bird, the beloved Duchess of Cornwell was seen driving down one of only two £10million burgundy and black Bentley State limousines sterling, usually the official vehicles of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Royal State Limousine was designed and built by Mulliner in conjunction with the monarch and her late husband, Prince Phillip, for her Golden Jubilee in 2002. The Royals, for example, opted for lambswool to upholster the plush seats designed using a model the same size as Her Majesty. It is 914mm longer, 254mm taller and 152mm wider than the standard Bentley Arnage R it is based on and features coach (suicide) doors that can open nearly 90 degrees. Crewe’s iconic “flying B” had to give way to the personal English mascot of St. George slaying the dragon, or proudly sporting a lion as it heads towards Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She is of course still escorted by enough Royal Protection Squad and PC Plod police and bikers to put any fleet of politicians captured by the South African state to shame.
The 6.75 liter V8 in the Royal Bentley produces 298 kW and 835 Nm of torque and can, unlike the 100 km/h top speed of the POTUS “Beast”, reach 209 km/h. These are impressive numbers considering that the armored and mine-resistant monster weighs 4 tons. It also has an NRA-resistant anti-bazooka greenhouse and the cabin can be sealed off in the event of a Putin gas attack. Although it rolls on Kevlar-coated run-flat tires, it’s every bit as comfortable as you’d expect from a Bentley saloon, so you can build one It’s okaywhile enjoying Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance on the way to his royal engagements. Note that the Royal Standard appears on the Bentley when Madame is in the back, so sorry Charles and Camilla, no flag for you. Still. But remember the royal wave.
Words: Thys de Beer