An 86-year-old motorcyclist riding his vintage bike in the Jubilee parade has driven motorcycles for as long as the Queen has been on the throne.
Peter Biles, from High Barnet, and his 1952 Vincent twin-cylinder were part of a fleet of classic motorbikes celebrating the culture, music and fashion of the first decade of the Queen’s reign in the pageant’s The Time Of Our Lives act.
The octogenarian said he passed his test at the age of 16 and took up motorcycling in 1952, a year before the monarch’s coronation.
He told the PA news agency: “I’ve always loved bikes.”
He said it was a “privilege” to be part of the festivities and that he hoped for a repeat of the Golden Jubilee, in which he also participated.
“In the one 10 years ago I couldn’t hear the engine running; the roar of the crowd was tremendous, I revved the throttle and still couldn’t hear the engine”.
His wife rode in the sidecar during that event and on tours of the Alps, but is no longer able to and is watching this year’s spectacle on television.
“She’s got bad hands now so she took part 10 years ago in the Golden one and going abroad, touring Switzerland and everything, but she’s frightened to get in it in case she can’t get out, so she’s at home which is a shame”.
Mr Biles said he was a royalist and has met members of the royal family in the past.
“I’ve seen the Queen before and I saw her in Paris when I was in the Army when I used to drive a staff car.
“I used to drive Lord Mountbatten in Paris when I was a young, fit man years ago.”
Waiting for the procession to set off from a cool and grey Horse Guards Parade on Sunday morning, Mr Biles was dressed in biker garb including a leather jacket and said he did not mind getting wet.
“I feel sorry for the people all in fancy dress in case it rains,” he said.