The first motorized royal coach in the world was a 6 hp Daimler supplied to King Edward VII, (Prince of Wales) in 1899. Over the next 36 years, the Kings and Queens of England would own 36 Daimler coaches, no other marque was taken. In the early days, Rolls Royce was considered the car for industrialists (nouveau rich), while the Daimler was made for gentlemen. By 1909, Daimler Cars were owned by the British King, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke of Connaught, Princess Henry of Battenberg, and the company held royal warrants of appointment to the German Kaiser and the King of Spain. Hooper and Company was chosen as the Royal coach builder, and it was considered an honor for them to accept a new client as a customer. Hooper was extremely discriminating about their clientele, since they were known by their high class of owner.
"A vast number of Daimler cars were in service during the Coronation celebrations of 1937. It was estimated at the time that a thousand figured in one way or another, and the photograph of Whitehall shows a long procession of Daimler cars which took part. There were 150 Daimlers — of the ‘straight eight’ type — specifically chartered for the use of Empire Prime Ministers and other distinguished guests. Many were sent to the coastal ports to bring visitors from overseas direct to London by road. It was an impressive sight and one of which there is good cause for the Daimler Company to be proud when, on Coronation Day, a long procession of Daimler cars swept out of Buckingham Palace to the Abbey in a line containing Princes and Princesses, Ambassadors, Ministers, Admirals and Generals." (Brian Smith, Daimler Days)
The Nethercutt Automobile Collection of Merle Norman Cosmetics (Sylmar California) (acclaimed as the most expensive car collection the world), includes both a 1928 and 1932 Hooper built Daimlers.
This vehicle was purchased by King George V attorney Douglas Beven "for his wife". History shows that attorney Douglas Beven had no wife however, as he was gay. In 1934 King George V had despised the actions of his son David, who was to become King Edward in 1935. David was dating a married American woman named Wallace Simpson, and King George V told David that since the throne was the head of the church of England, David’s behavior was bringing ill repute to the throne. Because of this, King George V restricted David from using any of the royal vehicles.
In conclusion, David commissioned the king’s attorney, Douglas Beven, to quietly and under the radar of the public eye, acquire this 1935 Hooper Daimler Limousine built in 1934 for the attorney’s wife, and since Douglas had no wife, it transferred to David, who gave it to Wallace Simpson as a gift, and was to be kept in London for David and Wallace’s use.
History reports witnesses that people saw Adolf Hitler and Wallace Simpson riding together in the back of a black limousine in London. At that time, Wallace Simpson had been friends with Hitler, and he would meet with her when he would come to London to attempt to convince Parliament to join him in his war efforts.
The original Hooper Factory Renderings on this vehicle are currently kept in the Royal Archives with a file number (5870) in the upper left corner of the drawings.
The Royal Daimler is available for purchase.