The cars of King Charles – a portrait of the monarch’s love of automobiles

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King Charles has always had a keen interest in all things four-wheels. Even before his reign began, he had been seen to try out all different types of cars – from sleek British sports models to hydrogen-powered vehicles of the future.

Here, we’re going to take a look through some of the cars that the monarch has been around.

Honda Civic Hybrid

Royalty – Prince of Wales – Eco Cars – Hampton Court Palace
The Prince of Wales with a new eco-friendly Honda Civic car during a test drive around the car park of the Hampton Court Palace.

The humble Honda Civic might not scream royalty to begin with, but its hybrid powertrain was of great interest to the then-Prince of Wales back in 2005. Charles got to try out an early version of Honda’s hybrid Civic, which brought incredibly low emissions for the time.

These days, Honda employs hybrid technology across much of its range, but back in the early 2000s, these systems were still gaining traction.

Aston Martin Volante

Prince Charles – Castle of Mey
The Prince of Wales arrived at his beloved grandmother’s favourite Scottish home before it is due to be opened to the public for the first time. * Charles took the wheel of his Aston Martin Volante on a 200-mile trip from Balmoral to the Castle of Mey in Caithness, near John O’Groats. 23/03/04: The Prince of Wales is to view some of the movie world’s most famous cars during a tour of the headquarters of Aston Martin. The royal, who is a lifelong fan and owner of the firm’s luxury cars, is being shown around the company’s first ever purpose built production site in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

The King has always had a strong link with Aston Martin. In 2004, the Prince of Wales took one of Aston Martin’s Volante models on a 200-mile trip from Balmoral to the Castle of Mey in Caithness, near John O’Groats.

He was photographed at the Queen’s Balmoral home prior to it being opened to the public for the first time.

Aston Martin DB9

The Prince of Wales drives a new Aston Martin
The Prince of Wales at the wheel of the new Aston Martin DB9 during a visit to the Aston Martin factory in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

Charles’s connection with Aston Martin was strengthened in 2004 with a visit to the firm’s factory in Gaydon, where he got to see Aston’s then-newest model – the DB9 – being produced.

After his tour, he was given a test drive of the V12-powered grand tourer.

Nissan Leaf

Prince of Wales visits Nissan UK – Sunderland
The Prince of Wales sits in a new car as he is shown the production line of the new electric Leaf cars during a visit to the Nissan UK plant in Sunderland.

The King has always had an interest in ‘greener’ mobility, so it was no surprise to see him in Sunderland in 2015, witnessing electric Nissan Leaf models rolling off the production line.

He also got to meet with apprentices and employees at the site during his visit.

Morgan Plus 4

Royal visit to Worcestershire
The Prince of Wales drives a Morgan Plus 4 car during a visit to Morgan car Company at Malvern, Worcestershire.

Much like the King, the Morgan brand is steeped in tradition and Charles had a closer look at how it operated during a tour of the Malvern factory in 2013.

As well as trying his hand at metal pressing, the King also got to take a drive of a shining red Plus 4 model.

Riversimple Rasa

Royal visit to Wales for Wales Week
The Prince of Wales test drives a Rasa hydrogen powered car during a visit to Riversimple, a hydrogen powered car manufacturer, in Llandrindod Wells, Powys, as part of a week long tour of Wales for Wales Week. Picture date: Tuesday July 6, 2021.

Showcasing an even more alternative way of getting about, the hydrogen-powered Riversimple provided the then-heir to the throne with an eco-friendly mode of transport when he visited the car company’s base in Llandrindod Wells in 2021.

The two-seater car emits nothing but pure water vapour and has a range of up to 300 miles from a full tank of hydrogen.

Aston Martin DB6

The Prince of Wales visit to south Wales
The Prince of Wales driving his Aston Martin DB6 arrives for a visit to the Aston Martin Lagonda factory at St Athan in Barry, Wales.

We’re back with Aston Martin and a car that King Charles has had ownership of for decades – a DB6 Convertible. He famously stated in 2021 that his classic drop-head ran on ‘surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process’ to keep it running in as green a fashion as possible.

It’s a car that has seen constant use, too, and was used by Prince Charles and the then-Duchess of Cornwall to arrive at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

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