‘Can one give one a push?’: 3 times the Queen surprised us behind the wheel

‘Can one give one a push?’: 3 times the Queen surprised us behind the wheel

Having been a truck mechanic during the Second World War and often pictured driving Land Rovers around her Balmoral estate, it was no secret the Queen was a confident driver. 

Driving since she was 19, the Monarch was never required to have a driving licence, therefore she didn’t have to take a test or, if she wanted to, comply with the speed limit. 

With so many miles under her belt, it’s no surprise there are a few stories to have come out from the Monarch’s time behind the wheel. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite of Her Majesty’s motoring moments.  

The time she took an F1 legend for a spin 

Sometime after F1 legend, Sir Jackie Stewart won the 1973 championship, he was heading to a barbeque from Sandringham, an event that the Queen would also be attending. The pair were good friends and had met on several occasions; the Monarch even ended up attending his 80th birthday party. 

As this was Stewart’s first time attending a royal barbeque he politely offered the queen a lift. To which she replied, ‘Absolutely not, I’ll drive, but you can navigate if you like’. 

Speaking later in a Sky Sports interview, Sir Jackie Stewart recalled how ‘she was a wonderful driver, a smooth, smooth driver’ and how ‘everything was done the right way, the indicators went up at the right time’. 

The time she gave the Saudi Prince a scare 

In 1998, when the Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia visited Balmoral Castle, women in his country were banned from driving, so when invited for a tour of the 50,000-acre estate he was surprised to see Her Majesty jump beside him into the driver’s seat. 

Having been taken for a spin around the mountainous roads of the Scottish Highlands the Prince pleaded for her to slow down. Years later the Prince spoke to British diplomat Sir Cowper-Coles about his nervousness. Albeit said with a large grin. 

The time her Range Rover was stuck in the mud 

After the Queen’s death, many stories of Her Majesty’s encounters began to surface. One surprising story came from a man remembering his meeting with the queen when he was a teenager in 1994.  

On holiday with his family during Easter, whilst walking in the countryside, the family came across a large Range Rover stuck in the mud. When the driver wound down the window the family were extremely surprised to see the Queen sitting behind the wheel. 

Shaking her car phone at the group, the Queen said, ‘I have no connection. Can one give one a push?’ 

Reminiscing on the day years later, the man said, ‘All I remember was this tiny woman behind this enormous car. When she wound the window down to reveal her face, I thought “Oh my god”. We gave her a push and helped her out of the mud and then she drove away without saying thank you. It was quite amazing. The most surprising thing was she was on her own!” 

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