08/15/2012

Wanted: A driver fit for a Queen

Bentley

Queen Elizabeth checks out her Bentley limousine that was given to her as a present in 2002 for her Golden Jubilee. There are two Bentleys in her fleet stationed at the Royal Mews. (AP)

If you don't mind driving really slow, can handle police escorts, and don't mind putting up with backseat drivers who you can't ignore -- we may have a job for you.

Buckingham Palace is now advertising for a full time chauffeur. About all you really need is a "clean" UK driving licence and be able to "deploy tact and diplomacy when necessary."

The job entails "driving members of the Royal Family, Household officials, guests and official visitors as directed by the Head Chauffeur."

Queen bentleyNow, here's the tricky part. If the Head guy isn't around, then the "Deputy Head Chauffeur" will have to do. And if, heaven forbid, he's not around to give instruction, your fate is in the hands of the "Senior First Chauffeur," who is, if we believe the title, the chauffeur with the most seniority.

The term "First Chauffer" is rather odd, since there are, according to the Palace flow chart, six (6) "First" chauffers. There is no indication whether there is such a thing as a "Second" chauffeur or how many, though we imagine they would be limited to polishing the bumpers.

One of the responsibilities is to "assist in the maintenance of the vehicles," which, translated, means you'll have to be good with a hose, bucket, sponge and chamois.

The good news is that in addition to eavesdropping on royals and driving very fancy cars, you get to stay in high class hotels and castles when they go visiting. Sounds glamourous, but there's some downside too. You're on duty 48 hours a week and the salary tops out at $36,000 a year.

At the Palace Mews, there are eight cars used for state business: Two Bentleys, three Rolls-Royces and three Daimler liimos. The Bentleys are the 10 years old and the latest additions to the fleet. The oldest car is a 1950 Phantom Rolls.

The bonus to the job, of course, is the being able to check for loose change and crown jewels that fell out of the royal pockets. On second thought, forget the loose change bit.

Comments

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I'd love to drive them around in my Abarth. It would probably be the most fun she's had in ages.

After her adventure with 007, you'd think Her Majesty would want a driver with some zip. I'd recommend The Stig.

Into the Thames, James.

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