Prince Harry and his actress bride, Meghan Markle, married on Saturday in a dazzling ceremony that infused the the 1,000-year-old British monarchy with a blast of modernity. But in between the historical and the current came a parade of vintage vehicles that made traveling from point A to point B luxurious and fashionable. From the queen’s vintage 1950 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV to a Bentley that probably still had that new car smell, Harry and Meghan had the royal car treatment.
Before the key arrivals and the all-out coverage of Markle’s travels across Windsor, Meghan and her mother, Doria Ragland, arrived at their hotel in a blue Land Rover Range Rover. The top-of-the line Range Rover has a long history as a people-mover for royals. Land Rover’s royal relationship dates to a royal warrant granted by King George VI in 1951. The king has previously received the 100th production Land Rover in 1947 as a gift from the manufacturer. Queen Elizabeth II has been seen behind the wheel of a Range Rover on many occasions, including driving Kate Middleton around in one in Scotland in 2016.
The star of the car show was arguably the 1950 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV which carried Markle and her mother on their journey from Cliveden House Hotel to Windsor Castle and then showed up again to drop the bride off at St. George’s Chapel.
Delivered in 1950, Rolls Royce made only 18 Phantom IVs. The most exclusive Rolls-Royce ever, the Phantom IV was delivered strictly to heads of states and members of ruling royal families. This particular vehicle was delivered with a public announcement that it was “designed to the special order of Their Royal Highnesses, the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.” The car was originally painted Valentine green with a red stripe down either side but was repainted with the royal color scheme of royal claret over black in 1952.
Taking exclusivity up a notch from the Phantom IV, Queen Elizabeth II arrived in the Bentley State Limousine. Only two of these special limousines were ever built, and both are in the queen’s garage. The armored car is capable of withstanding guns and bombs and is rumored to be airtight in case of a gas attack. Also decked out in the royal livery of claret over black — the color scheme of all royal limousines — the Bentley provided ample views of the queen and Prince Philip as they arrived at St. George’s Chapel.
BENTLEY MULSANNE SPEED
Ragland, like the queen, arrived in a state-of-the-art ride made by Bentley. Ragland strode from a Bentley Mulsanne Speed to the ceremony at St. George’s Chapel after trekking to Windsor Castle with her daughter in the Rolls-Royce Phantom IV. According to the British press, this particular vehicle was put into service in 2018. The Mulsanne Speed was one of the most powerful sedans to make the slow turn inside the walls of Windsor Castle with its 6.8-litre, 522-bhp V8. While surely sporting some royal upgrades, the price for this vehicle on the private market starts at more than $325,000.
JAGUAR E-TYPE CONCEPT ZERO
While William and Kate favored an Aston Martin to depart their wedding festivities, Harry and Meghan opted for another classic British sportscar by selecting a Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero, which is a modified 1968 E-Type with its gasoline engine replaced by an electric powertrain at Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic Works facility.
Described as ‘the most beautiful car ever made’ by Enzo Ferrari, the Jaguar E-type has been modernized under the hood, and Jaguar says the electric engine pushes the vehicle from 0-62 mph in 5.5 seconds — one second quicker than the original Series 1 E-Type powertrain.
Reuters contributed to this article.