The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, was known for his love of cars and his penchant for personalized number plates. One of his most treasured registrations was the OXR1 plate, which has now been passed down to his son, Prince Edward. This iconic number plate holds great significance as it represents a piece of history and tradition within the royal family. In this article, we will delve into the story behind the OXR1 number plate, tracing its origins and exploring the Duke’s passion for automobiles. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Treasured Car Number Plate: A Symbol of History and Tradition
The Origin of the OXR1 Number Plate
The OXR1 number plate has a rich history that dates back to the early years of Prince Philip’s driving career. It was first used on a specially built 1954 Lagonda 3-litre drophead coupe, which the Duke owned until 1961[^1^]. This stunning car was a testament to Prince Philip’s refined taste and love for British craftsmanship.
After parting ways with the Lagonda, the Duke acquired an Alvis TD21, which became his new vehicle of choice. The OXR1 number plate was transferred to the Alvis, and it remained a constant companion on Prince Philip’s journeys for many years[^1^]. The Alvis TD21, adorned with the OXR1 plate, is now on display at the museum at Sandringham, serving as a tribute to the late Duke’s passion for automobiles[^1^].
Prince Edward’s Tribute to His Father
Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh’s youngest son, recently paid homage to his late father by driving his family to the royal family’s annual pre-Christmas lunch in a Range Rover bearing the OXR1 plates[^1^]. This act not only showcases Prince Edward’s connection to his father but also highlights the significance of the OXR1 number plate within the royal family.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s cars were more than just modes of transportation; they were a reflection of his personality and interests. By driving his family in a vehicle adorned with the OXR1 plate, Prince Edward ensures that his father’s legacy lives on.
A Break with Tradition: The Pre-Christmas Lunch
The royal family’s pre-Christmas lunch is a longstanding tradition that brings together members of the extended family for a festive gathering. Traditionally held at Buckingham Palace, this year marked a break with tradition as the King, Prince Edward, chose Windsor Castle as the venue[^1^].
The private feast, hosted by the King for the second consecutive year, offered an opportunity for the family to reunite and celebrate the holiday season. The lunch included a sumptuous spread of turkey with all the trimmings, accompanied by champagne and wines[^1^]. It was a true family affair, with at least 50 members of the extended royal family in attendance.
A Royal Reunion at Windsor Castle
Among the notable attendees were the Prince and Princess of Wales, who live on the Windsor estate, along with their three children[^1^]. The Princess Royal, accompanied by her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Lawrence, the Duke of York, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, Zara and Mike Tindall, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent were also photographed arriving at or leaving the castle[^1^].
The lunch was a chance for the family to come together, catch up, and enjoy each other’s company in a more relaxed setting. It provided an opportunity for the younger generation to interact with their extended family and strengthen their bonds.
The Presence of the Duke’s Close Friends
In addition to the immediate and extended royal family, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Penny Romsey, a close friend of the late Duke of Edinburgh, was also invited to the pre-Christmas lunch[^1^]. The presence of close friends at such gatherings highlights the importance of maintaining connections and honoring the relationships that meant so much to Prince Philip.
Festive Traditions: Crackers, Jokes, and Hats
The royal family’s pre-Christmas lunch is not complete without the inclusion of festive traditions. Crackers, filled with surprises and jokes, are a staple at the table, adding a touch of joy and lightheartedness to the occasion. Party hats are also distributed, bringing a sense of fun and playfulness to the gathering[^1^].
While the adults engage in conversation and enjoy the festive atmosphere, the royal children typically dine separately with their nannies[^1^]. This allows them to have their own space and create their own memories of the holiday season.
The Significance of Windsor Castle
The decision to hold the pre-Christmas lunch at Windsor Castle instead of Buckingham Palace was significant. While Buckingham Palace has traditionally been the venue for this gathering, the King’s choice reflects his personal preference and desire to create new traditions.
Windsor Castle holds a special place in the hearts of the royal family. It is not only a historic residence but also a symbol of strength and resilience. Choosing Windsor Castle as the venue for the pre-Christmas lunch demonstrates the King’s commitment to honoring the past while embracing the future.
Continuing the Legacy
As Prince Edward drives his family to the pre-Christmas lunch in a Range Rover bearing the OXR1 plates, he not only pays tribute to his late father but also carries on the legacy of the Duke of Edinburgh’s passion for cars and personalized number plates. The OXR1 plate holds immense sentimental value and serves as a reminder of the Duke’s remarkable life and achievements.
As the royal family gathers at Windsor Castle for this festive occasion, they come together to celebrate their shared history, traditions, and the bonds that unite them. The pre-Christmas lunch is a testament to the enduring strength of the royal family and their commitment to upholding the values and traditions passed down through generations.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s treasured car number plate, the OXR1, represents more than just a piece of metal on a vehicle. It is a symbol of history, tradition, and the enduring legacy of Prince Philip. As Prince Edward drives his family to the royal family’s pre-Christmas lunch, he honors his late father and carries on his passion for cars and personalized number plates. This gathering at Windsor Castle brings the royal family together, allowing them to celebrate their shared heritage and create new memories. The OXR1 plate serves as a reminder of the Duke’s remarkable life and the values he held dear. It is a symbol of the strength and resilience of the royal family, both past and present.