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Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and more royal first cars: from Minis to Volkswagens

Kate Middleton's first car was decidedly chic

Carla Challis
Carla ChallisCommerce Partnerships Editor
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We love seeing the royals driving themselves and while we love the super sleek motors we associate with the royals now, we've always wondered what car Kate Middleton drove after she passed her test and what Princess Diana's first car was.

It's fair to say their motors were modest affairs, but read on to discover the first cars of the royals.

READ: What Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton keep in their cars

Meghan Markle's first car - a Ford Explorer Sport

It wasn't necessarily Meghan's first car, but before she was the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan's mode of transport was a "beat up, hand-me-down Ford Explorer Sport" that sounded like a "steamboat engine".


A Ford Explorer, similar to the one Meghan Markle used to drive in LA

"The clicker wouldn't open the front doors and I couldn't afford to fix this car and this was how I got from one audition to the other," she said at the Create & Cultivate conference in 2016. "So what I would start to do is literally go to these auditions, park at the back of the parking lot and I would open my trunk and crawl into the back of my car to the front seat to drive off to my next audition." How things change!

SEE: Which cars the young royals and their families LOVE

Princess Diana's first car - an Austin Mini Metro L

Dubbed Princess Diana’s 'courting car', a then 19-year-old Diana Spencer was often papped tootling around town in her beloved Metro when she was first linked to Prince Charles.


Princess Diana pictured with her first car in 1980

The car, with just 30,000 miles on the clock, sold at auction in the 90s for £6,000 and can now be found at the Coventry Transport Museum.

The Duchess of Cambridge's first car – a Volkswagen Golf

Kate bought her blue Volkswagen Golf for £10,000 in 2001, and was used by the Duchess while at St Andrews University with Prince William – he was often spotted behind the wheel of it. 


Kate and William in her car in 2005

In 2007, Kate upgraded to an Audi and handed over the keys of her Golf to her brother James, who sold it on for £1,400. Fast forward five years and it even appeared on Channel 4's auction show Four Rooms, but failed to sell.

DID YOU KNOW? These celebs drive eco-friendly cars

Sarah Ferguson's first car – a BMW 316

Sarah Ferguson's BMW wasn’t just any old run of the mill motor – it had an owl mascot on the bonnet. She'd often be seen driving around Clapham in her beamer until her marriage to Prince Andrew in 1986.


Sarah Ferguson filling up her car with petrol in the 80s

The Countess of Wessex's first car –  a Morris Minor

Sophie's first car, a second-hand maroon Morris Minor, was bought for her by her then-boyfriend Jeremy Barkley in 1988.

sophie© Bonhams

Sophie's Morris Minor went to auction at Bonhams

She only owned it for a year before selling it on, and in 2013, it fetched £4,600 at auction. Nowadays, she and husband Prince Edward prefer the big, comfy interiors of a Land Rover to drive the family around in.

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