Parade of classic cars marks Queen's 90th birthday


Prince Michael of Kent was in the driving seat as he toured a string of 90 classic British-built cars marking the Queen's 90th birthday.

The vehicles formed rows in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace with the first - a Bullnose Morris Oxford built in 1926 - the year of the monarch's birth.

The prince inspected the vehicles and met drivers dressed in traditional costumes from the period of their cars - giving a full snapshot of nine decades of motoring progress.

Highlights included a £5 million Ford GT40, a Bentley Continental GT, a Back To The Future-style DeLorean as well as what was reportedly the first ever Mini off the production line.

A Second World War Austin K2 ambulance - a type which the Queen herself drove during the war - was displayed by Mike Lousada.

There were drip trays under cars to stop oil leaking over the forecourt - which was just as well considering many had been rebuilt from wrecks.

One included a 1970 bright yellow AA Austin 1100 patrol van, which had been sold by the breakdown specialists - only to be bought back as a shell and built up again.

The Buckingham Palace event was part of wider celebrations surrounding the Queen's life.

It was organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Motor Group and the All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group.

Prince Michael is no stranger to classic motors, having once led a rally of Bentleys from the UK to Moscow to raise money for charity.