While we’ve heard a lot about the downside of being a royal, thanks to Prince Harry’s recent memoir and other interviews, there are, of course, plenty of perks that shouldn’t be overlooked—like having access to the family’s bonkers fleet of luxury cars, which have been collected over decades. As King Charles III takes the throne, a new report looked at exactly which vehicles the monarch reportedly has in his possession. While the result may not be quite at the level of the biggest wealthy car enthusiasts out there, such as Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton, whose collection is valued at roughly $15 million, it’s an impressive royal fleet nonetheless.
A new analysis conducted by The Guardian says Charles has an estimated $7.8 million worth of luxury cars to his name, and representatives from the paper traveled to the royal mews to get a look at some of these vehicles in person. Among the cars they list in Charles’s reported collection are two Bentley limousines originally gifted to the royal family in 2002 for the late Queen Elizabeth II’s golden jubilee and worth an estimated $1.7 million; a 1950 one-of-eight Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, valued at $3.1 million; a 1962 Rolls-Royce Phantom V; and a 1977 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI estimated to be worth $1.6 million, another gift to Queen Elizabeth, this time for her silver jubilee.
The Guardian noted repeatedly that defining exact ownership of these vehicles was tricky: Many are labeled “state cars” but are used for private purposes and not necessarily owned by the state, some are “held by sovereign in right of the crown,” meaning they only belong to Charles as long as he is reigning monarch, and were previously owned by his mother Queen Elizabeth, and select others are definitively privately purchased and privately owned by members of the royal family. Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the ownership of specific vehicles that The Guardian saw at the royal mews.
The newspaper also looked into a separately stored collection of cars at the royal family’s Sandringham estate, where 12 vintage cars worth an estimated $2.2 million are housed, all of which are believed to be privately owned by the Windsors. (The palace again declined to comment on the ownership here, telling the outlet, “We would not comment on any private property owned by members of the royal family.”) The Sandringham collection includes another of the queen’s favorite Rolls-Royce Phantoms, this one a Phantom V from 1961 worth upwards of $870,000. Charles is also known to privately own a 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Volante given to him as a 21st birthday gift by Queen Elizabeth, having sold a second Aston Martin—a 1994 Virage Volante—back in 2019 for $309,000.
With Charles looking to usher in a less extravagant version of the monarchy, we’re curious to see how much visibility these luxury cars will get over the next few years.