If there is one thing you can say about a Land Rover Defender, it’s that they have a pedigree. They are rugged luxury trucks that have evolved over the years, have seen some of the biggest events of modern history and, in some cases, have even been a part of them. They have also transported celebrities of all levels including Sean Connery, Oprah Winfrey, Ralph Lauren, John Mayer … and the list goes on and on.
Beyond celebrity is royalty, and in the United Kingdom, generations of the Crown have trusted the sturdy chassis of the Land Rover for most official business. Amongst the vehicle’s biggest fans is Queen Elizabeth, but the history of Land Rover and English royalty doesn’t start there.
King George VI, the Queen’s father, was gifted with the ceremonial 100th Land Rover ever built all the way back in 1948. The Queen herself received her first Land Rover in 1952 and memorably rode out of the top of one in 1951 during a royal celebration at Hyde Park. Since these events, well over half a century ago, the Royal Family has relied on Land Rover and shortly thereafter, Land Rover Defenders.
The Queen is a bit of a car buff, believe it or not. And her collection of vehicles is timeless itself:
- A 1900 Daimler Phaeton, one of the very first royal cars (or cars in general)
- 2001 Jaguar Daimler V8 Super LWB, although the Queen only owned this car for three years, it was loaded with clever gadgets like cigarette lighters that are actually secret switches that could activate various signals
- The first ever Bentley Bentayga (a vehicle capable of going upwards of 187 mph)
- A 2015 Range Rover LWB Landaulet
But her heart seems to be with Land Rover Defenders, which she not only owns but often drives even to this very day. Over the course of a few decades, The Queen has had, by most records, about 30 royal Land Rovers in her collection, a number of which have been Defenders. One of the more infamous, a 2002 Land Rover Defender made custom for her, featured high-level accessories intended to make the truck easier to drive and was equipped with a 4.2-liter V-8 engine. This was considered on the higher end of the power spectrum for a Defender at the time. Here is a quick history of Defenders and the Royal Family:
- 1948: First Land Rover delivered to Royal Family
- 1952: Queen gets her first Land Rover
- 1978: First custom Land Rover built for the Queen
- 2002: A Custom Land Rover Defender was created for the Queen
Quality, luxury, and sophistication are the calling cards of these epic trucks. At East Coast Defender, we look to continue that tradition. Our cutting-edge techniques and innovations take the Land Rover Defender to another level. From the beaches of our Florida headquarters, to the regal gates of Buckingham Palace, the Defender is an international icon. For more information about the history of the Defender, follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.