It's a sunny morning on The Mall and I'm driving a Royal Land Rover.

Police have cordoned off the surrounding crowds and we've got our own motorbike escort. I feel like a royal, which is handy considering the heritage of the car I'm in. It's a 1953 State One Royal Review, used as part of the Queen's Commonwealth celebrations. It's travelled all over the world and, I'm told by co-driver and engineer Martin, missed only a few beats in its time.

It certainly feels different to the modern, air-condititioned diesel I've driven down here in this morning. I've not driven a classic like this before, and I notice very quickly just how much hard work is involved. 

Let's start with the steering - of course, it's not power assisted, and there's a fair amount of effort required to get the beast to turn. There's some grunting on my part and, as I lift the clutch for the first time, some groaning from under the bonnet, too. I'm told that's normal.

We make progress down The Mall, as early tourists snap pictures of this most peculiar sight. It's part of a heritage drive organised by Jaguar Land Rover to showcase its royal connections, and there are certainly a few of them down on The Mall this morning. There's a 1967 88" military specification Land Rover, producing in the region of 72bhp from its 2.25-litre engine - it was built in Germany and used primarily by royals for inspecting the troops.

There's also a 1955 Mark VII M Jaguar saloon, famously owned by both the Queen and the Queen Mother between 1955-1973. A top speed of 101mph was acheived from its 160bhp, 3.4-litre engine. I'm told we'll be getting nowhere near that speed this morning. 

There's also a pair of Royal Range Rovers, kitted out to carry royalty in the back while keeping entourage and driver comfortable in the front. It's quite amazing to see these vehicles in the same place, given their lifetime of shared royal history.

Back to the State One, however, and there's a problem. I've gone to try and put it into first only to find reverse, and the gearbox has jammed. With a slow shudder we grind to a halt, and I'm told that although this has happened before and it's a relatively easy fix, we won't be moving anywhere for the moment. Still, there are worse places to break down, even if the Houses of Parliament aren't giving us much privacy.