Queen Debuts $77k 'Queenmobile' Golf Cart Amidst Jubilee Mobility Problems

Queen Elizabeth II has set a new precedent in how she conducts royal duties amidst her ongoing "episodic mobility problems" by appearing for the first time in a special chauffeur-driven vehicle.

The monarch, who celebrated her 96th birthday in April, made a surprise appearance at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show on Monday afternoon, an annual fixture on the queen's calendar she is said to very much enjoy.

The queen's attendance at the event in London was not announced by Buckingham Palace beforehand in a new model which sees the decision on whether the monarch feels well enough to attend events not being made until the day in question.

On arriving at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea—where the flower show is held—the queen transferred from her Land Rover into a special custom electric vehicle being dubbed the "Queenmobile" after the mode of transport used in recent decades by popes known as the "Popemobile."

Queen Elizabeth II Queenmobile Chelsea Flower Show
Queen Elizabeth II has set a new precedent in how she conducts royal duties amidst her ongoing "episodic mobility problems" by appearing for the first time in a special chauffeur-driven vehicle. In this picture, the queen can be seen in the "Queenmobile" at the Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 23, 2022. Paul Grover/Pool / Getty Images

The queen's luxury golf cart seats six and was made by the Danish firm Garia.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson announced on Monday following the queen's appearance in the custom buggy that: "Adjustments have been made for the Queen's comfort."

In March The Sun reported that the vehicle had been delivered to Windsor Castle and cost in the region of $77,000. Its key features are reported to include a 50 mile range running from a lithium battery, 14-inch alloy wheels and a top speed of 42 miles per hour.

The queen's chauffeur, wearing a uniform and cap emblazoned with the monarch's "EIIR" cypher, was entrusted with steering the vehicle through the flower show grounds, where it stopped periodically to allow the queen to speak to exhibitors.

Wearing a bright pink coat and floral print dress the queen appeared happy and comfortable in her new mobility aid, which could be seen throughout the planned Jubilee celebrations at the beginning of June.

In her Platinum Jubilee year the queen has had to cancel her attendance at a number of important events on the recommendation of her doctors, as she experiences what palace officials have called "episodic mobility problems." The state opening of parliament is the most important state occasion that the queen has so far delegated to Prince Charles, as he is increasingly called on to step in for his mother.

The use of the new "Queenmobile" as a mobility aid follows the adoption of a walking stick last fall. The monarch has suffered a number of health scares over the past year, which included a bout of COVID-19 in February.

Despite the number of canceled engagements recently, the queen made another surprise visit last week when she appeared at the official opening of London's new railway line named the "Elizabeth line" in her honor.

It was previously announced that the event would be attended by the queen's youngest son Prince Edward. However, on the day the queen also appeared wearing a sunshine yellow coat dress and walking with the aid of a stick.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also present at the opening ceremony and told reporters: "We're all incredibly touched and moved and grateful to her Majesty for coming to open the Elizabeth line today. It was fantastic to see her."

Queenmobile Chelsea Flower Show 2022
Queen Elizabeth II was driven around the Chelsea Flower Show by a uniformed chauffer who stopped to allow the monarch to speak to exhibitors and view the displays on May 23, 2022. DAN KITWOOD/POOL/AFP via Getty Images/ PAUL GROVER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The announcement from Buckingham Palace that the queen's mobility problems are "episodic" casts doubt as to whether she will attend the full program of planned celebrations over the central Jubilee weekend from June 2-5, which include a concert outside Buckingham Palace and special Trooping of the Colour ceremony.

Where the queen is unable to attend it is expected that members of the royal family including Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton will step in to represent her.

At the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday the monarch was joined by some of the lesser-known working members of the royal family, who it was announced earlier in May would be invited to stand alongside her on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the Jubilee instead of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew.

The palace announced that: "After careful consideration, The Queen has decided this year's traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2nd June will be limited to Her Majesty and those Members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of The Queen."

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra have all been included in the invitation and all joined the queen at the flower show.

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Queen Elizabeth II Queenmobile Debut Mobility Problems
The queen's use of the mobility aid dubbed the "Queenmobile" follows a Buckingham Palace announcement that the 96-year-old monarch continues to experience "episodic mobility issues." Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/Paul Grover/Pool/Getty Images