Prince Michael of Kent is a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. And despite me driving on the wrong side for only the second time in my life, I found myself chasing him and his guards with an SUV. As you do.
The now 73-year-old grandson of King George V and Queen Mary attended the Concours of Elegance in Edinburgh, only to hop into an XK150S afterwards that Jaguar bought from that clever dentist a few month back for a supposedly large heap of cash.
His Royal Highness had some soft driving to do at the Bo’ness Hill Climb just 18 miles away. And the lovely people I consumed a few pints with the previous night had to get some shots of him driving the car there.
Now, since Prince Michael is no Queen Elizabeth II, he only got two unmarked Land Rover Discoverys following him filled with people you don’t want to mess with, but staying on their tail still didn’t feel like a relaxing Sunday drive to me.
Now this was all approved beforehand. They kindly let us follow them and even pull up next to the Jaaaaag to take our pictures, but since we didn’t know which route would they take, Bryn, the guy with the sturdy camera, gave me pretty clear instructions before we set off: I was to be Clive Owen to his Madonna. I could handle that.
So there was Jaguar’s white Defender behind us towing a trailer in case the XK150S decided to blow up, but I didn’t have time to look in the mirror. I was driving a diesel Range Rover Sport for the first time, on the wrong side of the road, and the only thing to do was to follow the blue Land Rover Discovery driven by those kind officers. Of course there was the green one directly in front of us to keep it exciting, but the blue Land Rover was the one behind our target.
Despite the fact that we were allowed to drive up to the royal car, Prince Michael’s passenger obviously missed that memo because she was on her radio the moment we got close enough.
No matter. The job got done.
After we got to the hill climb and the cars were parked, one of the officers walked up to us to tell me that he believes I ran at least two red lights back in Edinburgh to stay with them, and I better not do that if I wish to keep my license.
For the record, those were orange lamps I drove through, and my orders were clear. I thanked him anyway, not bringing up the fact that my license isn’t British anyway.
Prince Michael of Kent didn’t go fast.
Photo credit: Bryn Musselwhite
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