History

Inside Prince William and Kate Middleton’s surprising car history

PRINCE William and Kate Middleton now have access to some of the world’s best cars, and are often seen getting in and out of Royal Range Rovers. 

And while both hold driving licences, neither necessarily have to use them, thanks to servants and chauffeurs who would no doubt drive them wherever they wanted to go.

But the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – one of the most famous couples in the world – are normally photographed driving themselves.

And both have had a surprisingly modest automotive past.

Thanks to Kate Middleton’s upbringing, the Duchess spent her formative years in much more humdrum cars than the Aston Martins and Bentleys associated with her new royal life.

And while Prince William is clearly a “car person”, his automotive interest began with the same humble beginnings as any other British millennial.

The pair have driven a wide range of vehicles

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The pair have driven a wide range of vehiclesCredit:
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Boris Johnson’s car history from ‘rubbish dump’ Toyota to Tesla Roadster

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson is a car enthusiast – he’s been an automotive journalist and he’s appeared on Top Gear twice. 

But you wouldn’t know that from the cars he’s been known to drive and own. 

Boris Johnson has owned a wide variety of cars

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Boris Johnson has owned a wide variety of carsCredit: Jon Bond – The Sun

While he’s enjoyed access to all sorts of expensive vehicles, his own fleet has often been a lot more modest. 

Armoured government cars

The Prime Minister’s official car – or the Prime Ministerial Car – is actually a fleet of armour-plated Jaguar XJ ‘Sentinel’ saloons.

They’re designed to withstand explosives and gunfire, as are the Range Rover ‘Sentinel’ models that the Prime Minister also has access to, which are built to endure high-velocity rifle fire and massive explosions. 

Bullets from an AK47 wouldn't harm the occupants of this car

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Bullets from an AK47 wouldn’t harm the occupants of this carCredit: Alamy

“Boris prefers the much roomier Range

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Artist Heidi Mraz Recreates a Porsche 906 from Pieces of Its History

Heidi Mraz‘s automotive portraits are complex and specific, collages of hundreds of pieces of ephemera specific to the car, so her artistic process is arduous. “Fifty percent of my time is just spent gathering information—talking to past drivers, restorers, owners; finding magazine articles and engineering notes in dusty boxes—to fill the provenance record and save this history,” she says.

Consider her latest commission, a four-by-six foot portrait of a famed Porsche 906 race car, chassis number 906-134, owned by Paul Queally, co-founder of the private Monticello Motor Club racetrack in upstate New York. From a distance, the piece looks like a clean image of the swoopy, impossibly low, bright orange, street-legal late-’60s racer. But get closer and more than 1100 individual components related to this winning seven-figure classic come into focus.

“When we unveiled this at Monticello, I had no idea what to expect,” says Queally. “I was

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History Channel’s New Documentary Reveals the Badass Cars That Built the World

Bloomberg

First Warning Sign in Global Commodity Boom Flashes in China

(Bloomberg) — One pillar of this year’s blistering commodities rally — Chinese demand — may be teetering.Beijing aced its economic recovery from the pandemic largely via an expansion in credit and a state-aided construction boom that sucked in raw materials from across the planet. Already the world’s biggest consumer, China spent $150 billion on crude oil, iron ore and copper ore alone in the first four months of 2021. Resurgent demand and rising prices mean that’s $36 billion more than the same period last year.With global commodities rising to record highs, Chinese government officials are trying to temper prices and reduce some of the speculative froth that’s driven markets. Wary of inflating asset bubbles, the People’s Bank of China has also been restricting the flow of money to the economy since last year, albeit gradually to avoid derailing growth.

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