Royal Dutch State Limousine

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The Rolls Royce Silver Wraith Limousine State Landaulette was the former official state car of the head of state Queen Juliana of the Netherlands until 1979.

Origins[edit]

Queen Juliana's Limousine State Landaulette

The seven-seater motorcar was commissioned by HM Queen Juliana in September 1957 and arrived to the Netherlands on 13 March 1958.[1] It is the only left-hand drive Rolls-Royce with landaulette coachwork in existence. The word "landaulette" means that the rear part of the roof can be folded down. Its chassis number is LGLW 24, LGLW 24 stands for: L: Left hand drive, LW: Long wheelbase (3,38m instead of 3,23m) and 24 is a sequential number that means it is the 24th car of the series GLW. The coachwork is by Park Ward. As a curiosity, the Ceremonial State Car of Denmark, the Store Krone, was the next motorcar to be made by the British firm.

The car has unique features ordered by the Queen such as a customised radio made by Philips, both a crown and the initial J painted on the outside of the back doors as well as crowns in relief in the inner side of the back doors, at the right armrest there are three grooves to keep a notebook, a make-up mirror and a cigarette case, etc.[1]

The car has been used mainly for state visits, being used for the first time for the state visit to the Netherlands by Queen Elizabeth II, on 20 March 1958. Other royal visitors who used the car include Baudouin of Belgium, the Shah of Persia and his wife Farah Dibah, the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej and his wife Sirikit, the kings of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, other heads of state, ambassadors, etc. Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus also used the Rolls-Royce on their tour of Dutch provinces and towns following their engagement in the autumn of 1965.[2] At the end on the 1970s it was decided that the Rolls-Royce would no longer be used for official functions, first it was kept in the garage of the Soestdijk Palace later went to the Royal Mews in The Hague.[1]

Despite its historical relevance the car was sold in 1979 to the specialist automotive company Autobedrijf Meijers in Utrecht, a private car rental firm.

Modern usage[edit]

The limousine does not belong to the head of state anymore, but to a rent a car company and it is leased on certain occasions to the royal family members. Like for example during the civil wedding of Prince Willem Alexander and Maxima Zorreguieta in 2002.

Due to its history, rarity and uniqueness, some voices claim this Rolls Royce should be returned to the head of state again to be used as a ceremonial car for major occasions, same as other European countries do.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Alles over de Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Limousine State Landaulette". MeijersAutobedrijf.nl. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  2. ^ "The Dutch Royal House". Koninklijkhuis.nl. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 

External links[edit]