Queen Elizabeth’s ‘elegant and powerful’ Bentley Limousine
The luxury Bentley Royal Limousine was built to honour the Queen’s 50th Golden Jubilee and was developed with input from the late Duke of Edinburgh and Her Late Majesty’s Head Chauffeur. Queen Elizabeth was beloved around the world with people vying to catch a glimpse of the monarch, with historic British manufacturer Bentley aiming to make a vehicle fit for the royals, rumoured to cost £10million.
As a head of state, Her Late Majesty had to be protected at all times from the threat of attack, however unlikely it may have seemed.
To that end, all of the car’s bodywork and glass has been specially strengthened to withstand anything.
The cabin is blast-resistant and it can be sealed air-tight in the case of a gas attack.
Even the tyres are reinforced with Kevlar, to ensure it can still be driven at speed in an emergency situation.
The Mulliner team, who designed the car, have created cars with armour in the past to protect their occupants on numerous occasions.
Neil Arman, Director of Leicestershire-based Flying Spares, the world’s largest independent supplier of Rolls-Royce and Bentley parts, has highlighted the prestigious, longstanding connection between the royal family and the two famous manufacturers.
“Queen Elizabeth II’s affinity for Bentley and Rolls-Royce motor cars is well-documented, and the last week has seen the retelling of many wonderful stories.
“My favourite is that, when in use by Her Late Majesty, the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot on the Phantom VI presented to her by the British Motor Industry in 1977, was replaced by a model of Saint George slaying the dragon.”
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When it was being designed and manufactured, it was critical that Her Late Majesty was comfortable in the car for long periods of time.
Because of this, a monocoque construction was therefore chosen, allowing the transmission tunnel to run underneath the cabin, for a flatter floor.
The rear seat position was determined using a model of the exactly the same height as the Queen, while handbag stowage was designed around the dimensions of the Queen’s favourite bags.
British textile manufacturer Hield Brothers produced the lambswool cloth used for the upholstery of the rear seats, with all remaining upholstery rendered in Bentley’s light grey Connolly hide.
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Mr Arman added: “I’ve seen great in-depth features on her 1955 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV State Landaulet, 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II and 2002 Bentley State Limousine, and there have been some lovely motoring picture montages too.
“One of my favourites is a black and white photo of five Rolls-Royces belonging to The Queen parked outside The Royal Mews, in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
“As you’d expect, both Rolls-Royce and Bentley issued dignified, praiseful statements on the passing of Her Late Majesty, and we at Flying Spares echo these sentiments.”
A spokesperson for ChooseMyCar.com said that the Bentley had overtaken the Rolls Royce as being the Queen’s favourite state vehicle.
They added: “Comfortable, spacious, elegant and powerful, the Bentley is an obvious choice and certainly fit for a Queen.
“But even a luxury Bentley gets the Royal treatment – with the brand admitting in 2016 that the Queen’s purchase of a Bentley Bentayga would come with an agreement that the ‘standard’ options would be upgraded.
“The Bentley also featured in the Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002, when our monarch was given a Bentley state limousine.”
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