By William Stolerman
Queen Elizabeth II's personal vehicle has been put up for sale. Tailor-made to suit her needs, it's a very special car.
The Daimler Majestic V8 Jaguar was used by the Queen herself to drive around the grounds of her Windsor estate and for trips such as going back and forth to Buckingham Palace. She used the car between 2001 and 2004 and clocked up 14,000 miles.
The man who is selling the car, Peter Ratcliffe, said: "It is a beautiful car and she was fond of using it to get around Windsor or into London. She likes driving. I even saw her in the car herself once driving along the M25 with her escort."
Painted British racing green, it was customised to suit her needs. For instance, the driver's armrest was specially designed to accommodate her Launer bag and ensure it remained upright.
"When she was accompanied by a royal protection officer in the passenger seat she was worried that she would have nowhere to put her handbag," sad Ratcliffe. "Jaguar took the normal armrest and added a sliding tray so she could place her handbag on top and push back the tray to hold it in place while the car was moving."
On top of that, the car features a special console of switches that control flashing strobe and blue emergency convoy lights, as well as a secure telephone link to Downing Street and the Home Office.
The motor, which had a list price of £65,000, has been released from Jaguar's collection of royal vehicles after the Queen acquired another car from the company and it was deemed surplus to Buckingham Palace's requirements.
Ratcliffe commented: "It's a truly unique vehicle. There is nothing else out there, or ever going to be out there, that you can buy and say this was the personal car of the Queen of England, specially built for her."
Ratcliffe recently sold the Queen's previous S-plate Daimler for a "substantial sum" to a Japanese collector.