Queen Elizabeth II, who died September 8, was a keen consumer of the more specialist output of the British car industry and would today be described as a key influencer for brands such as Land Rover and Jaguar. She was often pictured at the wheel of their products.
However, she did not always oblige them by driving their latest model.
The queen was Britain's longest-reigning monarch and the first to reach seven decades on the throne before her death at age 96. She learned to drive in the way many women did during World War II. She joined the female division of the British army, the Auxiliary Territorial Service.
There, she was also taught how to service vehicles and undoubtedly developed a taste for driving herself that would continue throughout her long life.
A story that probably best illustrates her driving enthusiasm as well as her sometimes impish humor puts her at the wheel of the Land Rover Defender, the vehicle that would probably become most associated with her -- at least in private away from the formality of the Bentleys and Rolls-Royces used for state events.