Regal riding

From September 1959, a royal experience of motorcycling.

Photograph:MORTONS ARCHIVE

Prince Michael of Kent, then aged 17, poses on a ‘…sleek and shiny motorcycle belonging to his friend Duke Amedeo Di Savoia Aosta, who sits on the bonnet of a small car looking.’

So explains the official statement on the reverse of the photograph, though when The Motor Cycle published the picture, in its September 7 issue of 1959, the young Duke was cropped from the picture, just leaving the Prince astride the small Italian machine.

That he is on an Italian machine is a given, as the picture was taken at the Villa Demidoff, at Fiesole in the hills near Florence.

Though what make of machine, is hard to discern.

It’s not (it would seem) one of the more ‘mainstream’ or well known makes; Demm was a name that immediately suggested itself, but we’ll leave it to readers to offer a definitive identification.

The machine certainly has some neat touches, including lovely, narrow dropped handlebars and a typical heel-and-toe gear change arrangement.

Read more in the August 2019 issue of TCM – on sale now!

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