The history of the Government House Rolls Royce

Of all the vehicles in the vice-regal fleet, none garners more attention from onlookers than the Rolls Royce Phantom 6.

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One of only two of its kind in Australia (the other lives at Government House in Canberra), the 1972 model was acquired by the Office of the Governor in 1973. And while it currently has around 83,500 miles on the clock, the odometer has been around more than once, so it is impossible to tell how far the Rolls has travelled!

The Rolls has transported Her Majesty The Queen at least twice: in 1988, with the Duke of Edinburgh, to Expo 88; and again in 2002, when Her Majesty opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Coolum.  

On that second occasion, there was a tense moment for the vice-regal drivers when the Rolls suffered a flat tyre on the drive from Brisbane to Maroochydore Airport to meet The Queen. A tow-truck mechanic was rushed to the scene – at two and a half tonnes, your average car jack isn’t quite up to the task of lifting this stately lady! – and the Rolls arrived in time to collect the Royal couple.

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The Rolls Royce is used on State occasions like the opening of Parliament and the Ekka, and on ANZAC Day. The current Governor also famously made his first tweet from the car after his swearing-in on 29 July 2014. The Rolls is also used by the Governor on Thursday each week to travel to Executive Council meetings.

When the Governor is travelling in the vehicle, the Governor’s Standard flies over its Crown number plate.

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Government House is the proud custodian of this special vehicle, part of our State’s automotive heritage.