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Bentley Offers Special Way To Honor Queen's Jubilee

Bentley has decided to honor Queen Elizabeth's 60th anniversary on the throne with 60 special diamond jubilee Mulsannes.

Bentley and its decidedly upscale customers in Beijing celebrated the Queen Elizabeth's birthday and her Diamond Jubilee year at the gala opening of one of the world’s largest Bentley dealerships - a new landmark in the cosmopolitan Sanlitun district. To mark the occasion, Bentley unveiled the first example of its Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition.

According to a Bentley news release, the car is designed by the craftsmen and women of Bentley’s Mulliner division, the creators of the State Limousine presented to Queen Elizabeth II in 2002. Just 60 examples (naturally) of the Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition have been created with each car representing a year of Her Majesty’s reign. (Don't give me the 1997 edition – that's when Princess Diana died, which wasn't one of the Queen's shining moments.)

These special Bentleys are distinguished by a range of exquisite, handcrafted features paying tribute to the Jubilee. These include bespoke embroidery to all four headrests using gold stitching, veneered picnic tables in the rear cabin decorated with a gold overlay depicting a royal carriage used for great occasions of state as well as luxurious, hide cushions featuring the same motif.

Sure, it calls to mind special commemorative plates and other knick knacks, but with a much higher price tag. Plus, here's a little known fact. Those luxurious hides used in Bentleys are from specially pampered cattle who live in climates with no mosquitos (so bug bites don't disfigure the hides) and they are free range because it just wouldn't do for a Bentley bovine to have fence marks on them.

True to the Mulliner tradition, the Diamond Jubilee Edition cars feature a spectrum of paint and hide colors that sets them apart from other Bentleys and which uses various combinations and shades of red, white and blue (the colors of the Union Flag) to underscore the British connection. Hand-applied Single Fine Lines – using these same three colors – provide an elegant finishing touch as do two distinctive Bentley ‘B’ badges positioned on each ‘D’ pillar.

Why introduce a car honoring Queen Elizabeth in China? After all, it is a communist country and not a monarchy. It's all about the Benjamins (or whatever the equivalent to the Chinese currency is). China is now the largest market for Bentley Motors. In 2011 the British manufacturer delivered 1,664 cars to Chinese customers and during the first quarter of 2012 sales in the region grew by 84.66 percent compared with the same period in 2011. Bentley’s dealership presence is set to further expand in the next 12 months as the company introduces its latest high-performance coupe and convertible Continental models to Chinese customers in 2012.

Happy Diamond Jubilee your majesty. Here's hoping your 10-year old limousine is replaced by one of the special edition Mulsannes.