11 times royals ditched their drivers and got behind the steering wheel

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When the royals aren’t carrying out their duties, they often like to do ordinary things such as grocery shopping and driving. The Queen, 95, is often pictured behind the wheel of her Range Rover on her private estates, most recently at Windsor.

As part of the “royal prerogative” – powers and rights that the sovereign alone possesses – Her Majesty is the only person in the UK who can drive without a license, even though driving licenses are issued in her name. Among her many privileges, she has never needed to take a driving test and is allowed to drive without a number plate on her state car.

The royal first developed her motoring skills as a teenager in the Second World War, when she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as an honorary second subaltern. The then-Princess Elizabeth, 18, trained as a driver and a mechanic, learning how to change a wheel, rebuild engines and drive ambulances and trucks. She earned a reputation for not being afraid to get her hands dirty, and five months later, the royal was promoted to honorary junior commander in the summer of 1945.

Take a look at some of HELLO!’s favourite photos of the royals driving…

QUIZ: How much do you know about the royal family’s motors?

WATCH: Newlyweds Prince William and Kate drive out of Buckingham Palace 

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The Duchess of Cambridge was spotted driving to the Queen’s annual Christmas lunch for her extended family in December 2019. Kate waved as she drove through the gates at Buckingham Palace and her daughter Princess Charlotte could be seen in the back seat.

MORE: Royal cars: The motors favourited by the younger royal families from Audi to Land Rover

Keep clicking for more photos…

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The Countess of Wessex previously revealed during a visit to a Surrey pub that she likes to drive herself to local engagements. Here she is getting out of her Jaguar as she arrived at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2016.

MORE: The Countess of Wessex makes surprise visit to local Surrey pub

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Prince Harry drove himself and his new wife Meghan in a vintage Jaguar E-Type to their evening reception at Frogmore House in Windsor on their wedding day in May 2018. The new Duke of Sussex wore a tux, while Meghan looked gorgeous in a halter-neck Stella McCartney dress.

MORE: Best British cars: Prince Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding car just took the title

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The Queen’s youngest son, the Earl of Wessex, sported glasses as he drove him and his son, James, Viscount Severn, to Buckingham Palace for the monarch’s annual Christmas lunch in 2019.

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Mike Tindall was also spotted driving himself, wife Zara and their two daughters, Mia and Lena, to the Queen's Christmas party in December 2019.

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Prince William drove his bride Kate down The Mall in Prince Charles' Aston Martin DB6 after their wedding ceremony in April 2011. The car is powered by biodiesel made by a by-product of the cheese manufacturing process and wine unsuitable for human consumption.

MORE: Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and more royal first cars: from Minis to Volkswagens

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We love this vintage-looking snap of the Queen driving in her Daimler saloon car in 1957, with a ten-year-old Prince Charles in the passenger seat and an eight-year-old Princess Anne in the back.

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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were the first royals to visit Cuba in an official capacity in 2019 and Charles got behind the wheel of a vintage car to drive them through Havana.

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Princess Eugenie drove herself and her sister Princess Beatrice in a Union Jack printed Mini in Berlin, Germany, as they supported an initiative which promoted the UK abroad in 2013.

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Princess Anne had a rather unusual passenger in the form of her bull terrier when she drove to the Gatcombe Horse Trials in 2019.

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