Royal Rovers fetch big money

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A Defender once owned by the late Duke of Edinburgh has sold at auction for £123,750, having been bought for just £44,000 in June 2022.

The Defender was bought in 2022 from the son of David Key, Prince Philip’s former chauffeur.

Finished in Keswick Green, the Defender was commissioned by the Duke of Edinburgh and built to his individual specification. Accompanying the car was a file containing correspondence between Jaguar Land Rover and David Key. It’s no secret that the duke, who died aged 99 in 2021, had a deep love affair with Land Rovers and granted the brand a Royal Warrant more than 40 years ago.

Ahead of the hammer falling, Silverstone Auctions said that the vehicle boasted an “enviable combination of Royal provenance, an individual specification, low mileage and fantastic condition” that ticked all the boxes for any “serious collector of significant British vehicles”.

If this is anything to go by then goodness knows what a ceremonial Land Rover used by the late Queen Elizabeth will sell for when it goes under the hammer later this month.

The 1968 Series IIA was used in Northern Ireland in 1977 as part of the Silver Jubilee Tour, marking 25 years since the succession of the late Queen Elizabeth II to the throne.

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The Land Rover was initially commissioned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and later modified with bespoke coachwork so that it could be used as a royal ceremonial vehicle. The main alteration is a wraparound glass panel that helped to provide shelter for the royals, while gated doors at the rear, along with metal steps, allowed easy access. A ‘traffic light’ button system was also fitted, allowing the Queen to indicate if she wanted to stop or continue moving.

Originally wearing a military registration, the Land Rover was sold by the MoD at auction in 1983 and has been part of several private collections since.

The Land Rover is being sold by Bonhams at its Goodwood Members Meeting Sale, with an auction estimate of £60,000 to £90,000.