Leading article: Racing Queen

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If one was forced to guess which public figure is a secret fan of motor racing, the Queen would probably not be top of many lists. Hunting, yes, horses, naturally, but Formula One? Talk about lese-majesty.

Yesterday we learned otherwise. The Queen told Lewis Hamilton, on awarding the young world champion his MBE, that she enjoys watching him and his colleagues burn rubber around the grand prix circuit. An informed inquiry was even made about Mr Hamilton's McLaren car.

Perhaps this passion was forged when Elizabeth Windsor, as she was then, trained as a driver and mechanic in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service during the war. Whatever its origins, it's a shame Her Majesty has had relatively little chance to indulge her enthusiasm over the years.

How about an invitation to the Top Gear test track? A royal revving is surely overdue.