The ONLY person to give instructions to Her Majesty! Queen, 96, playfully calls her satnav the ‘woman under the bonnet’ – and finds the GPS voice ‘rather amusing’
- The Queen, 96, has nicknamed her sat-nav ‘the woman under the bonnet’
- Sources have revealed Her Majesty finds the instructive voice ‘rather amusing’
- Said it ‘always tickles’ people to ‘hear her remark’ on the sat-nav when driving
Who’s the only person who can tell the Queen what to do? The woman under the bonnet, of course!
That’s the monarch’s nickname for her satellite navigation system, the Daily Mail can reveal, and demonstrates the 96-year-old’s legendary sharp wit.
There is no need for a ‘satnav’ system in the sovereign’s official state Bentley, according to sources.
But while she knows the layouts of her estates at Windsor, Sandringham and Balmoral ‘like the back of her hand’, a navigation system still comes in useful for the head of state whether driving personally or with a chauffeur.
And although she famously hates back seat drivers – ‘the Queen doesn’t tolerate anyone lecturing her while driving, not even her late husband could tell her what to do,’ says one who knows her well – she does find the female voice of her GPS rather amusing.
The Queen, 96, has nicknamed her satellite navigation system ‘the woman under the bonnet’, Daily Mail can reveal
‘A few years ago she started calling her “the woman under the bonnet”. It was very funny.
‘Of course she knows very well where the voice comes from. But Her Majesty is very sharp.
‘She has a brilliant sense of humour and a very quick wit,’ the source said.
‘It always tickles people to hear her remark “it’s the woman under the bonnet again” when she hears her voice.’
And although she famously hates back seat drivers, she does find the female voice of her GPS rather amusing, sources have revealed
It is possible to customise the voiceovers from satnav systems but most come with a woman as standard.
Historically, female voices have been used in navigation devices dating back to the Second World War, when women tended to be radio operators.
The monarch uses a fleet of private cars including Range Rovers, Land Rovers and Jaguars and until recently always preferred to drive herself, if possible.
Indeed, she is the only person in the country who has no need to hold a valid licence.
But she has more than proved her mettle behind the wheel, working as a mechanic and driver in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War.
The monarch uses a fleet of private cars including Range Rovers, Land Rovers and Jaguars and until recently always preferred to drive herself, if possible
One amusing story concerning the Queen’s driving was revealed by the British diplomat Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, about the time the country’s late King Abdullah – then Crown Prince – came to visit her at Balmoral in 1998.
After lunch she asked her guest whether he would like a tour of her Scottish estate, but he was visibly shocked when he got into the Land Rover parked up outside the castle to see his host driving.
The Queen turned on the ignition and sped off – an even more surprising move given that women were not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia at the time.
‘Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a queen,’ the diplomat later recalled, having been told the story while ambassador to Saudi Arabia by both the monarch and her guest.
The Queen’s devil-may-care attitude behind the wheel, as she chatted to the prince, was said to have made him rather nervous.
Sir Sherard wrote: ‘Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead.’