This week members of the royal family have begun arriving for the evening celebrations of Prince Charles’ 70th birthday party at Buckingham Palace. The Queen paid a beautiful tribute to Prince Charles, describing him as a “dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history – and a wonderful father.” Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were among the glamorous guests. Shots of them leaving Kensington Palace to travel to the party were taken.

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Now a royal expert explained to Town and Country the real reason they got behind the wheel before Prince Charles’s birthday. Duncan Larcombe, a biographer of Prince Harry told Town and Country: “If I had access 24 hours a day to chauffeurs—which they do, their royal protection officers drive them around in bullet-proof vehicles—I’d think that was heaven.”

“But for them, they’re funny. They try and be as normal as they can. For them, it’s quite nice to be able to drive themselves and to be independent. They’ll still have their protection officers in tow.” Larcombe says. “They would have had at least two vehicles driving with them and a protection officer in the vehicle with them, all armed.”

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The new generation are not the only ones who prefer to drive their vehicles – the Queen herself has been seen multiple times driving her Rover. “The Queen in her 90s is still driving. She’s been photographed driving a very old Land Rover around her estate in Scotland in the summer,” Larcombe said. “Again, it’s probably that sense of freedom. ”

“The 70th birthday reception at Buckingham Palace was not an official occasion—it was a big family occasion, but it wasn’t what they class as an official royal job.”

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We also saw Harry and William drive their brides to the reception on their wedding day:

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