Yes! Really! The Duke of Edinburgh drove a taxi. The man who loved driving, was rich, and had access to the most luxurious vehicles in the world chose a simple, basic, low-cost taxi as his daily driver. And this was not a passing fancy or novelty. He kept the car for almost two decades.
Prince Philip's Metrocab had a special skill that made it more preferable than a Rolls-Royce, Bentley, or Aston Martin. It blended in. It was anonymous. It was just another vehicle. That must have been comforting for a man who lived in the spotlight. The Duke could therefore travel without being constantly seen, judged, and pictured. The taxi probably gave him some sense of a ‘normal life’.
The Duke also had the benefit of any doubt if he was spotted. In other words, people likely thought: ‘hey, that man looks like Prince Philip’ rather than ‘that is Prince Philip’. The former was a far more instinctive conclusion. Who, after all, expected to see him driving a taxi?
His bespoke metrocab ran on liquefied petroleum gas rather than diesel, had dark green paintwork and was retired to the Sandringham Museum in 2017.
Royal Historian, Hugo Vickers, once shared: ‘I believe someone has seen a taxi, tapped on the window, and asked the so-called taxi driver for directions. You could see that someone wandering off, scratching his head, and wondering if he had really seen the Duke in a taxi.'
The Duke of Edinburgh owned many other vehicles throughout his lifetime. He was pictured many times sitting on the roof of a Series Land Rover and the British manufacturer provided other vehicles in more recent years, too. They included a Range Rover which met President Obama when he visited Windsor Castle (in 2016).
Prince Philip also owned or briefly tested the:
- Aston Martin Lagonda Drophead Coupe
- Hillman Imp
- Alvis Series II Drophead Coupe
- Land Rover Freelander
- Fiat 500
- Land Rover Discovery
- Triplex Scimitar GTS
The Duke of Edinburgh lived from 1921 to 2021. In these years, cars evolved from basic, crude machines that only rich people could afford into technological marvels for today’s masses. He saw, admired, and enjoyed this remarkable evolution. Rest in peace, Sir.