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Why the electric Jaguar at the royal wedding was a symbolic step forward

Why the electric Jaguar at the royal wedding was a symbolic step forward

Following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s boundary-breaking royal wedding yesterday, the happy couple changed their ensembles for the reception. But while the prince’s smart tux and bride’s sleek dress certainly impressed, there was one detail that turned heads more than anything else: the getaway car.

The newly dubbed Duke and Duchess of Sussex traveled to their after-party in a silver Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero, a car Enzo Ferrari had once called “the most beautiful car ever made.”

The showstopping luxury vehicle is a 1968 classic that was converted into an electric car. As the Verge reports, it features LED headlights and an entirely bespoke electric powertrain that delivers up to 220kW of power. It can go from go from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.5 seconds, which is pretty fast, if not a wee bit slower than a Tesla Roadster, which goes 0-60 mph in less than 2 seconds.

It’s been reported that royal officials leased the £350,000 car for the festivities following the eco-conscious couple’s requests. The palace added a special touch: a customized license plate with the date of the wedding.

It’s a symbolic request, one that connects the couple to the royal family’s long history with the Jaguar-Range Rover brand. Everyone from Princess Diana (XJS convertible) to Queen Elizabeth (Jaguar X-Type) favored the British car company, long relying on the models for personal use. That the royal couple wanted the cherished brand, albeit crafted to environmentally friendly standards, demonstrates the royal family’s attempts to modernize traditions.

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The royal family has quickly adopted environmental platforms in recent years. Apart from owning a wine-and cheese-fueled DB5 Aston Martin, Prince Charles spent the last decade championing green initiatives. In 2010, the elder royal founded the International Sustainability Unit to address critical key environmental challenges. He also fronts The Prince’s Rainforest Project, which works to find a solution to tropical deforestation.

Even the queen is getting with the times. This past year, Buckingham Palace announced a £369 million refurbishment that includes solar panels. In February, the reigning monarch banned plastic straws and bottles from royal estates, including public cafes, staff dining rooms, and internal palace caterers.

Although Prince Harry is more known for his activist work with the Invictus Games, he too has spoken of the importance of tending to environmental causes. During a speech to teenagers in Toronto last year, he addressed concerns over threats to the environment, telling the crowd not to give into despair.

“I know that you, more than any previous generation, care deeply about the health and sustainability of the planet you’re going to inherit,” he said. “Today you are all saying no to pessimism and cynicism … We are saying yes to optimism, yes to hope, and yes to belief.”

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