Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Defender 130 to enter active service with the British Red Cross
The specially converted Defender 130, donated to the British Red Cross in commemoration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, is to enter active service in North Wales.
Image supplied by Land Rover South Africa
This unique vehicle will be instrumental in helping the charity support those in difficult-to-reach communities such as the Snowdonia mountain range, Lleyn Peninsular and Isle of Anglesey.
Working with the British Red Cross, of which Queen Elizabeth II was Patron for 70 years, the Defender 130 has been adapted in line with Jaguar Land Rover’s modern luxury principles to include advanced communications features. With Wales ranked the second-worst area in the UK for 4G data coverage in rural areas*, the Defender’s ability to stay connected will be essential along the region’s coastline, mountainous terrain and remote locations.
The vehicle includes an enhanced 4G-connected antenna to provide a strong signal whatever the location, a built-in phone, a VHF radio for communications and an upgraded telematics system with GPS tracking. A solar power system on the roof will charge an auxiliary battery to power accessories when the engine is not running so that the vehicle can stay connected for longer.
Further valuable storage space has been created by removing the Defender 130’s third row of seats. A fitted drawer system will allow teams to transport equipment such as blankets, food and first aid supplies, meaning the vehicle will be well equipped to respond to a range of emergencies such as storms, floods, fires and freezing conditions.
Anti-bacterial wipe-clean seat covers and rechargeable torches with charging points also feature among the adaptations, for added practicality, while the built-in water boiler will allow the British Red Cross to provide hot drinks in times of crisis.
Laura Wood, Partnerships, Experience and Collections Director at Jaguar Land Rover, said:
“For almost 70 years we have partnered with the British Red Cross, continually seeking ways to grow and support their work through our vehicles and technologies. Together, we continue to reach people in isolated and rural communities all over the country. This new Defender 130 is particularly important and will support those most in need in North Wales. It is also a poignant way to celebrate Her Majesty's 70-year patronage and dedication to the work of the British Red Cross.”
Chris Davies, Head of Crisis and Emergency Response at British Red Cross, said:
“For almost seven decades, British Red Cross volunteers have been responding to emergencies in Land Rovers. From fires and floods to storms and power outages, our partnership with Defender has helped us to be there for people in a crisis. This generous donation will have a massive impact on our emergency responders in North Wales, ensuring that we can continue to support people wherever they are and whatever the British weather can throw at us.”
Before starting its working life in North Wales, the vehicle will be on display at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (11-14 May), an event that was regularly attended by Queen Elizabeth II. Visitors to the show can see the Defender 130 and learn more about Jaguar Land Rover’s long-standing partnership with the British Red Cross.
*According to the ‘Rural mobile coverage in the UK: Not-spots and partial not-spots’ House of Commons report (April 2022)