Last week saw the end of an era that impacted everyone in the United Kingdom, and billions of people around the globe.
Of course, we’re talking about the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and the world stood still on Monday to mourn Her Majesty. Her funeral was televised globally, and people of all nationalities paid tributes in-person at the procession, with friends and family at home, and on social media.
In today’s blog, we’ll be looking at the vehicles in the funeral procession (or cortege), as well as the hearse that transported Her Majesty The Queen to Edinburgh. We’ll also look at the number plates on some of the vehicles in the cortege, and explore the Royal Family’s love of personalised registrations.
Did The Queen need number plates?
As Sovereign, The Queen’s State Vehicles didn’t actually require number plates. That’s why if you watched the funeral procession, you’ll notice that the official State Vehicles didn’t have registrations at all. Instead, they featured the House of Windsor coat of arms above the windscreen.
However, personal vehicles of the Royal Family fall under the same rules as everybody else in the UK, and they do require number plates.
The Queen’s State Vehicles without number plates.
The first State Vehicle that doesn’t require a number plate is the 1978 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI State Limousine, which was gifted to Queen Elizabeth in 1977 for her Silver Jubilee.
Customised to include a raised roof and glass top panel, as well as a panoramic rear-view window for parades, this exquisite vehicle transported The Queen Consort and Princess of Wales for Elizabeth II’s funeral. It was also used to escort the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, to her wedding in 2011.
The 1987 Rolls-Royce Phantom came next, which is one of the last of 374 of the model to be produced between 1968 and 1990. With both Phantoms finished in the same royal claret as other State Vehicles, the second in the procession transported Princess Beatrice and Eugenie during the funeral, and again, didn’t need a number plate.
The Bentley State Limousine.
Next, we have the 2002 Bentley State Limousine, which is one of two gifted to Queen Elizabeth II for her Golden Jubilee, back in 2002.
Modified to run on biofuel and comprehensively armoured to protect passengers, the vehicle is valued at around £10 million, and The Duchess of Sussex and Countess of Wessex were seen in this car for Her Majesty’s Funeral.
The Jaguar 2018 XJ State Hearse.
A Jaguar next, and more specifically, the 2018 Jaguar XJ State Hearse, which transported The Queen’s coffin on her final journey to Windsor Castle.
The funeral marks the first time this vehicle was used in an official capacity, and is said to be a nod to the car used to transport The Queen Mother for her funeral. Both are Jaguar XJs, albeit with different specifications.
It’s said that The Queen herself had a say in the specification of this particular Jaguar, with modifications made to grant onlookers an uninhibited view of her coffin, as you can see in the below image.
With the State Vehicles covered, let’s take a look at some of the personalised number plates purchased by The Royals over the years, and the ones that made it into the funeral procession.
MYT 1, MYT 2, and MYT 3.
The State Hearse, as mentioned above, was joined by three 2022 Range Rovers in the funeral procession, all of which were finished in the same Royal Claret colour as the State Vehicles.
However, unlike the State Vehicles, the Range Rovers did have number plates; MYT 1, MYT 2, and MYT 3, respectively.
It's thought that MYT 1 was purchased by King Charles, back when he was Prince Charles, and was first spotted on a 1961 Vauxhall Cresta PA Estate being driven by The Queen. Take a look at the image below for a throwback to that very moment, and the car that first played host to MYT 1.
MYT 1 is understood to cheekily reference The Queen’s official title “Most High, Most Mighty, and Most Excellent Monarch, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.”, focussing on “mighty one”, specifically, as reflected in the plate characters - MYT 1, and consequently, MYT 2 and MYT 3.
The Range Rover MYT 1 belonged to has transported the corgis quite a lot in recent years, and it also was modified to include a dog guard, gun rack for hunting, and fishing rod holder built into the roof.
A 7, NLT 2, OXR 1, and more.
It turns out that Queen Elizabeth II had a bit of a penchant for private number plates, and owned one of the rarest and most prestigious UK registrations ever issued, A 7. With history in abundance, A 7 is one of the first UK registration numbers ever issued, with its release spanning back to 1903 where it was released to London Council.
And it’s not just The Queen who liked a private registration, The Queen Mother owned NLT 2, and Prince Philip once purchased OXR 1, with Princess Margaret owning 3 GXM in recent years.
The Duke of Kent was once the president of the RAC, so it’s probably no surprise that he was a keen motor enthusiast with a private number plate, too. His registration was YR 11, and Princess Anne once owned 1 ANN, which is one of the plates with a more obvious reasoning behind it.
However, perhaps the meaning was a little bit too obvious, as Princess Ann had to give it up for security reasons.
R.I.P Queen Elizabeth II.
So, there you have it, a look at the vehicles and number plates from The Queen’s life, her family’s life, and her funeral.
At National Numbers, we’d like to take this moment to send our condolences to The Royal Family, as we mourn with the rest of the nation the loss of a great monarch.