- The Duke of Edinburgh, who died at the age of 99 on Friday, April 9, worked on creating a bespoke hearse for 16 years, starting in 2003
- His modifications include the open-top rear section, where his coffin rested, and the military green colour
- The Land Rover Defender was used to carry his coffin to St George's Chapel
The body of Prince Philip, officially referred to as the Duke of Edinburgh's, was on Saturday, 17 April carried in a Land Rover he designed years ago.
Buckingham Palace said the duke started collaborating on the project with Land Rover 18 years ago with its open-top rear section custom-made to his specifications.
During the funeral, which was attended by the family only, Prince Philip's coffin was driven to the chapel in the specially commissioned Land Rover from the state entrance of Windsor Castle.
Although the event was scaled down because of Covid-19 restrictions, the duke's original plan to have his body driven in the Land Rover was followed.
Philip's four children - the Prince of Wales, Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex - and grandsons - the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex - followed the vehicle in a procession.
The vehicle was also flanked by pallbearers from the Royal Marines.
The modified Land Rover Defender TD5 130 cab chassis vehicle was made at Land Rover's factory in Solihull in 2003. The duke is reported to have overseen the modifications throughout the intervening years, designing the open-top rear and special "stops" to secure his coffin in place.
He requested the vehicle be repainted dark bronze-green, a colour used for many military Land Rovers. The duke made his final adjustments to the vehicle in 2019.
Why a Land Rover?
The royal family's relationship with the British-made Land Rovers is reported to stretch back 70 years when King George VI granted a royal warrant to the company as a supplier to the royal family.
Land Rovers have long been a favourite vehicle of the Queen and Prince Philip.
A US automotive website, Car and Driver, wrote the duke owned, leased or drove one of every generation of the company's more upmarket Range Rover stretching back to its launch in the 1970s.
Prince Philip's love of Land Rovers has made the news in the past. In 2016, the duke chauffeured former President Barack Obama and his wife to lunch at Windsor Castle in a Range Rover.
Philip was also driving a Land Rover when he was involved in a crash that injured two women in 2019. The vehicle's inclusion in the duke's funeral plans is also possibly tied to his plans for a "no-fuss" service.
In other news, Briefly News reported that as the United Kingdom and the world bid farewell to Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II said goodbye to her husband and the love of her life.
The Queen and Prince Philip were married for 73 years before his demise on April 9, aged 99 years. While saying goodbye to her late husband, the Queen left a handwritten note in her husband's casket, a beautiful tribute to their early days as lovers.
As the duke's casket was being transferred to be interred in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel, one could spot the naval cap and the Royal Navy officer's sword laid on top of the coffin.
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