Range Rover Driven by Prince Charles While Courting Princess Diana Sells for Over $130,000
A royal ride comes with a hefty price tag!
A 1975 Range Rover used by the royal family was sold at auction for £101,150 (a little more than $133,000) on Sunday, Silverstone Auctions confirmed to PEOPLE. The olive green vehicle, featuring a large sunroof, was delivered to the royal household on August 13, 1975, according to a Heritage Certificate, and is believed to have been stored and used at Windsor Castle.
The car was discovered in disrepair at a farm in Worcester in 2013. After more than 1,000 hours of work, the Range Rover was restored to factory condition. Plus, the buyer bought a vintage luxury SUV with decades of royal history attached.
“Whether driven by Prince Charles during his courtship with the late Diana, Prince Philip nonchalantly standing on the rear tailgate, or picking their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Michael of Kent up from Heathrow, period photographs abound in online archives,” according to the auction house.
Photos show Charles in the driver’s seat at the North Warwickshire Hunt Team Event in 1979, ahead of the couple’s 1981 wedding. While pregnant with Prince William, Diana sat on the car’s hood during a day at the Grand National Racecourse in 1982.
The Range Rover has been a favorite car of the royals since the brand’s launch in the early 1970s, according to Silverstone Auctions.
“The Royal Family were first in the queue and have owned every model since launch to the current, either in standard production form or with bespoke features,” says the auction house. “Archival photographs through to the present day show The Queen and her family at the wheel or alighting from a Range Rover more so than any other model of car.”
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Range Rovers have been the car of choice for many members of the royal family, whether Prince William and Kate Middleton are driving home from the hospital after welcoming Prince George or heading to Christmas lunch.
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As part of the “royal prerogative” — discretionary powers or rights that the sovereign alone enjoys — she has never needed to take a driving test because she is excluded from the regulations and laws governing the road, according to the authoritative Royal Encyclopedia. She tends to be seen driving only around her private estates.
At age 19, the then-princess learned to master a vehicle at a training center in 1945 while working in the wartime Auxiliary Territorial Service.