Literally the Royalty of SUVs: The Land Rover Defender is the Vehicle Queen Elizabeth Couldn’t Live Without.

Land Rover Defender

Queen Elizabeth always had a special connection to her Land Rovers – especially the Land Rover Defender

In fact, her 70-year reign spanned the entire length of Land Rover company history, and most evidently the Land Rover Defender.

Despite the fact that her highness owned many luxury vehicles during her lifetime – she was a huge car lover overall – Land Rover was her clear favorite.

Land Rover Defender
The Queen could always be found riding inside the Defender to get around Balmoral castle grounds in Scotland.

During her time in the British Armed Forces Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II, Queen Elizabeth II picked up extensive mechanical knowledge and driving experience.

After the war ended, her passion for all things automotive endured and would continue until the end of her life. She always traveled widely on royal business. Land Rovers played a prominent role in many of these.

Queen Elizabeth with Defender
The Royal Family and Land Rover have had a long and fruitful partnership, with the monarch and family kept in Rovers since King George VI was given the hundredth 80” Series I in 1948. | Photography credit: Atlantic British

Learn more about this world-class Land Rover here

But it’s the one model of Land Rover that helped her get around Balmoral castle grounds in Scotland that became synonymous with the queen: Her personal the Defender.

Balmoral is huge, a whopping 50,000 acres. It was originally built for Queen Victoria by her husband Prince Albert.

And it was the favored residence of Queen Elizabeth II.

Land Rover Defender
Queen Elizabeth II first learned to drive in 1945 as part of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, when she was trained as a mechanic and military truck driver. | Photography credit: CNN

 Located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the vast estate was used for Queen Elizabeth’s summer vacations. And in order for her to see all of it she turned to her trusty Defender.

The car’s world-famous off-road ability was often put to the test at Balmoral, where it navigated harsh terrain and blustery weather found in that region of Scotland.

Today, the Land Rover Defender lives on. Not only is it a rugged all-terrain vehicle but it has an interior with purpose. The cabin of the Defender can be customized to suit your demands.

Land Rover Defender
Land Rover always had a special place in Queen Elizabeth’s heart because the Defender was her all-time favorite SUV.

Defender 90 and 110 are available with five or six seats, with 110 offering the option of additional third row seats. Defender 130 is an 8-seater, offering your passengers unrivaled comfort.

And it can be customized with environmentally friendly materials. Land Rover’s new leather-free material, Resist, has a lower carbon footprint than leather alternatives. It’s extremely durable, easy to clean, and has a fine-grain look with a soft feel. You can also choose between a center mounted jump seat or a console, with or without a refrigerator. 

2023 Defender
The exterior of the Defender is without match. Its distinctive silhouette instantly demonstrates the vehicle’s character. | Photography credit: Forbes

Featuring Land Rover’s toughest materials yet and tested to its very limits, the Defender has been designed for optimum durability. It can handle extreme terrains and confidently takes you from the urban jungle to shifting sands and icy environments.

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In fact, Land Rover calls the Defender the strongest and most capable vehicle we have ever created. With permanent All-Wheel Drive1, twin-speed transfer, and a monocoque architecture.

2023 Land Rover Defender
Designed. Like no other. The Defender is the strongest and most capable vehicle we have ever created. | Photography credit: Forbes

With incredibly durable Robustec ribbon accenting on the seats, Black exposed rear recovery eyes, and tough exterior styling.​

The Defender X combines capability with off-road looks, meaning you can go way beyond where you’ve ever gone before.

All starting at $43,500. Because life can take you from a smooth highway to a rocky back road in the blink of an eye. So why not be prepared and comfortable at the same time?

Interior of the Defender.
There are many reasons why the Defender was the Queen’s favorite SUV – One being the luxurious, spacious interior.

And with a 2023 Defender, considered one of the world’s first off-road vehicles for consumers you don’t have to stick to the beaten path.

Want to go off-roading in your 2023 Land Rover Defender near the Coachella Valley?

Check out these suggestions from the Visit Greater Palm Springs website that zero in on the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Anza-Borrego Rocks.

Drive your Land Rover Defender in Anza-Borrego Rocks.
Visit the Anza-Borrego Rocks.

Anza-Borrego is California’s largest state park encompassing more than 600,000 acres of badlands, slot canyons, and cactus-scrawled hills. The geology here is ever-changing and as barren—and beautiful as they come. Since most of this park is inaccessible to highway vehicles, renting a 4-wheel drive or all-terrain vehicle is the best and often the only way to take in the amazing geology, volcanic landforms, and fossils here.

Dune Buggy Trail.

Driving your Defender in Dune Buggy Trail.
Dune Buggy Trail.

There are some easy loops and routes to choose from in the park, and you can customize them to check off the boxes for the sights you’d most like to see. There are no roads through this sandy expanse, but there are trails, sort of. Small street signs dot the makeshift roads and while they’re not always easy to see, they do help with navigation.

Ocotillo Wells SVRA.

Ocotillo Wells SVRA.
Ocotillo Wells SVRA.

(State Vehicular Recreation Area). This is an entire park in and of itself devoted to off-roading. Along with great off-roading, there’s plenty of stunning scenery to enjoy.

Gas Domes.

Gas Domes.
Gas Domes.

Make one of your main stops the Gas Domes. According to the folks at Visit Greater Palm Springs, this attraction is spectacular because it’s where superheated water bubbles through cracks in the earth’s crust and mixes with the dirt to form lightly bubbling mud pools. “The mud is whitish grey and is surprisingly cool to the touch.”

Shell Reef.

Shell Reef.
Shell Reef.

Once you head toward Shell Reef and you will find thousands of fossils waiting for you; in essence layers of ancient shellfish hidden under the desert sands. There are also massive hills that emerge from the desert floor. But while these may tempt your off-roading instincts they are best ascended on foot.



This may be a perfectlast stop on your circuit as you point your Defender towards the Badlands area of Anza-Borrego State park. Deep canyons and pretty views abound here and are something you’ll remember for a long time. “The trails through the badlands are flat and sandy and despite their labyrinthian twists it’s easy to make good time through the canyons,” according to Visit Greater Palm Springs. 

If you are looking for a new 2023 Land Rover Defender to buy or lease, visit Land Rover Rancho Mirage. And if you’re ready to test drive the SUV of your dreams, call our sales department at (760) 767-8035. What are you waiting for? Feel the ultimate power of British DNA at your fingertips today!

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