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Queen’s hat causes car problem in France

Mon, 02 Jun 2014

The French president has a problem: it turns out none of the Citroen cars currently at his disposal are large enough to accommodate the Queen’s customary hats.

So for Her Majesty’s state visit on 6 June, in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, president Francois Hollande has ordered an old Renault out of retirement to make sure the Queen has the necessary headroom.

On Bing: see pictures of the Queen’s cars
60 years of Royal cars

President Hollande is generally seen in a Citroen DS5, as this is the most prestigious French-made car currently available; alternatively he also has routine access to the slightly more limo-like Citroen C6.

However, it seems there is some concern that neither of these cars would be tall enough for the Queen to sit upright in if she chooses to wear a large hat to mark the occasion.

So instead, the event is likely to see a surprise return to the limelight for the presidential Renault Vel Satis, which is some 2.6 inches taller than the best Citroen currently has to offer.

Quite what the British monarch thinks about the possibility of rolling around in a car that went out of production five years ago remains to be seen. But we’re certain Her Majesty is as much of a fan of quirky French automobiles as the rest of us.

Even if the Queen’s own state car is a unique custom Bentley.

The Queen’s own cars
We drive the Queen’s Land Rovers
The Queen’s Daimler Super V8 for sale at auction
On Bing: see pictures of the Renault Vel Satis
Find out how much a used Renault Vel Satis costs on Auto Trader
Read a Renault new car review

By CJ Hubbard, Motoring Research