Images of the customized Land Rover hearse that carried the coffin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, to St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle today were first revealed yesterday.
The Land Rover carried Philip’s coffin, adorned with flowers, the Duke’s naval cap, sword, and flags representing his Greek and Danish heritage.
The procession to St. George’s Chapel included a Bearer Party, drawn from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, and the Duke’s four children, Charles, Prince of Wales, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
The procession also included the Duke’s grandchildren, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.
Philip specifically requested to be carried to St. George’s in the back of a Land Rover.
“Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor,” he reportedly told the Queen before he died.
Royal fans who tuned in to watch the funerary procession on TV have since been inquiring about the Land Rover hearse.
Here is what we know about it.
Prince Philip helped design the Land Rover
Monsters and Critics reported that Prince Philip helped design the bespoke Land Rover Defender TD5 130, specially modified to carry his coffin.
The Land Rover was built at the company’s factory in Solihull. Philip worked on the design in collaboration with Land Rover for about 16 years.
According to the BBC, he started working on the Land Rover design back in 2003 when he was 82 years old.
He submitted his final suggestions for modifying the vehicle in 2019 when he was 98 years old.
The Duke was always a fan of the Land Rover brand and he used successive models over the years. He granted Land Rover a Royal Warrant years ago.
Philip’s Land Rover hearse design
The Land Rover Defender has a military Dark Bronze Green color. The bodywork color was originally Belize Green but the Duke requested to have it changed to a military Dark Bronze Green color with matching green wheel hubs as a nod to his military background, according to the BBC.
The vehicle has no registration plates. It has a black front grille and a single cab for the driver.
Other major design modifications included an open top rear section to carry the coffin. The open rear section was made according to the Duke of Edinburgh’s specification. The modifications included rubber grips mounted on silver metal pins to prevent the coffin from moving or sliding off the open top while the vehicle was in motion.
Philip died last week after a month in hospital
The Duke of Edinburgh died at the age of 99 on April 9, 2021, after a month of hospitalization.
He was admitted to King Edward II Hospital on February 16, after feeling unwell. He was later transferred to St. Bartholomew’s for heart surgery. He returned home to Windsor on March 16 but remained ill.
His health deteriorated until he died early on Friday, April 9, reportedly with the Queen at his bedside. He died two months before his 100th birthday.
Land Rover paid tribute to Prince Philip on their website.