The King's cars – a portrait of Charles's love of automobiles
The King has always had a keen interest in all things four-wheels.
Throughout his life he has tried different types of cars – from sleek British sports models to hydrogen-powered vehicles of the future.
Here we take a look at some of them.
– Honda Civic Hybrid
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 in 2005.
Charles tried out an early version of Honda’s hybrid Civic, which had incredibly low emissions for the time.
These days Honda employs hybrid technology across much of its range, but in the early 2000s, these systems were still gaining traction.
– Aston Martin Volante
The King has always had a strong link with Aston Martin.
In 2004 he 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 before it was opened to the public for the first time.
– Aston Martin DB9
Charles’s connection with Aston Martin was strengthened in 2004 with a visit to the firm’s factory in Gaydon, where he saw 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
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 met apprentices and employees at the site.
– Morgan Plus 4
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 drove a shining red Plus 4 model.
– Riversimple Rasa
Showcasing an even more alternative way of getting about, the hydrogen-powered Riversimple provided him 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
Back with Aston Martin and a car that the King has owned for decades – a DB6 Convertible.
He famously said 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 is a car that has seen constant use, too, and was used by Charles and the then Duchess of Cornwall to arrive at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.