BAILEY IS ALL SET TO AUCTION OFF ITS 'QUEENMOBILE', the Bailey Approach SE 760 motorhome that the Queen and Prince Phillip had a ride in last November.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh took a ride in the Bailey Approach SE 760: a magnificent six-birth with overcab
Our Queen, in a motorhome? Yes, really.
This astonishing event was all part of Bailey of Bristol’s 65th Anniversary celebrations – and for us it was certainly the highlight of a wet and wintry Thursday, 22 November, 2012.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, visited the company’s South Liberty Lane caravan and motorhome factory.
I can see why the Queen turned up. Founded in 1948, Bailey Caravans has 65 years experience in caravan design and production. One in three new caravan sales are Bailey caravans. Now it has branched out into motorhomes, with great success and is also expanding to new export markets such as Australia and New Zealand. Bailey employs more than 300 people in Bristol site and manufactures 7,500+ leisure vehicles per year, making a £90 million turnover.
Waiting for a glimpse of the Queen at Bailey's HQ in Bristol
HE WAITED IN THE RAIN
Our Nigel Donnelly raced from the office up the M4 just in time to be frisked, vetted and approved for a ringside view as the Royals swished into the very well secured premises that day. The anticipation was intense as they waited for her, the mood changing to delight as the Queen appeared.
The Royal handshake and a warm welcome from Bailey bosses
Whatever people might think of royalty in the abstract, most of us still get quite excited when we actually meet this charming lady and her fantastically gaffe-prone husband. Prince Phillip has the knack of breaking the ice when he meets a new group of people. Here, he apparently offered a few design tips, mentioning that he'd designed a few horse boxes in his time. The Queen, however, said it was a 'real home from home, very nice'.
The Queen met the top brass at Bailey before taking a factory tour
This event came at the end of a fantastic year for Royal popularity, following on from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, street parties, the Torch Relay and the London Olympics and Paralympics 2012.
After seeing her land from a helicopter with James Bond at the Olympics Opening Ceremony, we thought that goodwill towards the Queen couldn't get any higher!
In Bristol, this event ramped it up another notch.
The Bailey Approach SE 760: well equipped, with its gas hob, oven, microwave, toilet, shower and central heating
She took a right Royal tour of the main assembly line, met key staff and also inspected a Unicorn Cadiz touring caravan – and took a ride in the £45,395 Approach SE 760 motorhome. I've driven one of these magnificent motorhomes, so I hope she was as impressed as I was.
The Queen emerges from her tour of the Bailey factory
SELLING ORF THE MOTORHOME
Now that the fuss has died down, Bailey has now decided to put both the caravan and the motorhome the Queen inspected up for auction to its retailer network. The dealers who win what might well become a bidding war, will then sell them on to two lucky customers, who will also receive:
- A Certificate of Vehicle Authenticity
- A framed photograph of Her Majesty the Queen in the caravan or motorhome
- An opportunity for a 'Royal Tour' of the Bailey factory
- Lunch with the Bailey Directors in Bristol
Bids from posh ladies with deep pockets, pink hats and Royal aspirations would be most welcome!
That rules me out on three counts, then. How about you?
26 February, 2013
Despite not sharing his umbrella on the big day, I've shamelessly borrowed our Nigel's photos for this blog. Thanks Nigel!