Balmoral green is the colour Vauxhall reserves especially for the Queen – as in our monarch, not the rock band…

Vauxhall has supplied cars to the Royal Family for many years, and the Queen and Prince Philip have driven various models – all in Balmoral Green, a deep green colour that Vauxhall uses only for these distinguished customers. It would have been this colour that was used on the Vauxhall Cresta PA, pictured above, being driven by the Queen, with a young Prince Andrew in the passenger seat, in Windsor Great Park in 1968.

Ensuring that the livery and trim of the car is right for its customer is never easy, and Vauxhall has had its learning experiences here. Several years ago, a new Omega estate car for the Royal Family was being prepared at Vauxhall’s sister company, Opel, in Germany. Vauxhall’s British team had specified the Balmoral Green colour, and all seemed to be going to plan – until the car arrived in Luton. Sure, it was sober and green on the outside – but inside the interior trim was a customised riot of gaudy colour. A telephone call was hastily made to Germany, asking them to explain the psychedelic seating. Didn’t they know this car was for the Queen?

“Yes,” came the reply. “Queen’s car.”
“And why did you think the Queen would like this colour scheme?”
There was a pause. “Um…” said the man at Opel, “did you say the Queen?”
“As in Queen Elizabeth?”
“Not Queen the rock band?”
The next day, the car was duly dispatched back to Germany for a refit.