Queen Elizabeth Once Broke Tradition By Taking The Wheel With A Visiting Saudi Prince

In 2003, when then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah visited Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom, the queen invited him to take a drive around Scotland. Crown Prince Adullah got into the passenger seat and his interpreter into the back seat, but to his surprise, Queen Elizabeth hopped into the driver's seat, started the engine, and immediately began driving the vehicle. Besides a head of state operating an automobile, which was already unique itself, what makes the story even more fascinating was that this was an obvious critique of Saudi Arabia's law that didn't allow women to drive at the time. 

As they drove across the country roads of Scotland, the Saudi Crown Prince was reportedly very nervous of her driving, and when Elizabeth tried making conversation with him, he reportedly told her to focus on the road, according to Insider. Perhaps Queen Elizabeth got the Saudi government to reconsider their position on the matter, because in 2018 the country finally gave women the right to drive, according to The New York Times.

The princess soldier

What makes this story even better is that Queen Elizabeth didn't even have a driver's license when she drove around the Saudi Crown Prince, given the fact that she didn't need one as the country's monarch. However, this didn't mean that Her Majesty had no experience driving. She picked up plenty of experience when she was enlisted in the Armed Services during World War II. Her Majesty joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the war, and was trained to be a mechanic in 1943, according to The National WW2 Museum

During this time, then-Princess Elizabeth had plenty of practice driving. Furthermore, she was the only female in the royal family to join the military, along with being the last head of state who served in World War II, before her death on September 8. But her drive with the Saudi Crown Prince exemplified the person the queen was: a monarch who was capable and accomplished in so many different ways.