William and Kate recently celebrated nine years of marriage in their Norfolk residence, Anmer House. Their wedding was a cause for national celebration, as Kate is expected to one day sit besides William when he is King. The couple were watched by an estimated 36 million people in the UK alone as they exchanged vows in Westminster Abbey during the lavish ceremony.
However, a few eagle-eyed royal fans may have spotted that when William went to escort Kate in Prince Charles’ cherished Aston Martin from Buckingham Palace to Clarence House, there was something wrong with the car.
Writing in The Guardian back in 2011, James Meikle explained: “When Prince William borrowed his father’s beloved old Aston Martin to drive his new wife away from Buckingham Palace on their wedding day, the excitement apparently made him forget a basic rule of motoring.
“Release the handbrake.”
The accident was also referenced by royal photographer Arthur Edwards when chatting on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs in 2011.
Having photographed the Royal Family for years, he is on good terms with the Firm and was even able to get a good spot near Buckingham Palace on the day, as the couple wanted copies of his images themselves.
He later struck up a conversation with Charles about his eldest son’s wedding after the special day.
He recalled: “I was talking to Prince Charles about that.
“I said: ‘Did you mind him borrowing your car?’
“Because he loves that car, it was a birthday present from his mother [the Queen] on his 21st birthday.
“He said, ‘Oh no. He asked me if he could use it.'”
Mr Edwards then explained how there seemed to be a problem with the car.
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Charles reportedly replied: “Yes — because he didn’t take the handbrake off.”
The rear number plate read ‘JU5T WED’, and the-then 41-year-old car had been decorated in the traditional newly wed style with a learner plate on the front and multi-coloured streamers tied to the bonnet.
Heart-shaped balloons had been tied to the back of the car and some had the initials of ‘W’ for William and ‘C’ for Catherine.
According to Martin Beckford writing for The Telegraph, “Prince Harry, the best man, and other friends and family had decorated the car”.
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He also commented: “They drove at a sedate speed out of the front of the Queen’s London residence, followed by security officers in a dark Range Rover and motored up the Mall before turning into Stable Yard Road.”
A spokesperson said: “It was Prince William’s idea to drive his new bride away from the official reception on their first journey as a married couple to his family home.”
An additional surprise was also put in store for the couple, as a fly-past by RAF Wattisham in Suffolk of a yellow Sea King helicopter accompanied the royal car.
It was to acknowledge the royal’s work as a search and rescue pilot prior to his marriage.