Prince Philip's Custom Land Rover Hearse Is Revealed Ahead of Funeral

Prince Philip will have a special send-off.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s custom Land Rover hearse was revealed ahead of his funeral on Saturday. The forest green Jaguar Land Rover that will be used to transport the late duke’s coffin is currently displayed at Windsor Castle.

Per Buckingham Palace, Philip and Land Rover began creating the custom vehicle to be used at his funeral 18 years ago. “The hearse was built using a Land Rover Defender TD5 130 chassis cab vehicle, which was made at Land Rover’s factory in Solihull in 2003 and subsequently modified,” a statement from the Palace notes. The open top rear section to carry the coffin was designed and custom-made to the royal’s specification.

As for the color of the hearse, it was repainted a dark bronze green, which was used by many military Land Rovers. The final changes were made in 2019.

Queen Elizabeth II’s husband was a fan of Land Rovers and used the cars throughout his adult life, granting his Royal Warrant to the vehicle manufacturer over 40 years ago. Per the Palace, Philip visited Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing facilities many times over the decades and attended the opening of Jaguar Land Rover’s new Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton in 2014.

“We are deeply privileged to have enjoyed a very long and happy association with The Duke of Edinburgh over many decades. We are also honored that the Land Rover which The Duke designed will be used at the funeral on Saturday,” Thierry Bolloré, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive said in a statement. “The Duke was a tremendous champion for design, engineering and technology. During his visits to our sites he engaged with hundreds of employees and demonstrated his impressive knowledge and deep interest in vehicle design, engineering and manufacturing. The Duke was a truly remarkable man and will be greatly missed.”

Philip died on April 9 at the age of 99. His funeral will take place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, and will begin with a three-minute moment of silence before its preceded by a Ceremonial Procession inside the grounds of the castle.

Members of the royal family will walk in procession behind the coffin, with the queen and Philip’s four children leading the way. Princess Anne and Prince Charles will be first, followed by Prince Edward and Prince York. Prince Harry with Anne’s son, Peter Phillips, and Prince William next.

The private ceremony will have a maximum of 30 guests, mostly close family members, due to COVID-19 protocol. ET has learned that three of Philip’s relatives from Germany have also been invited to attend. 

The beloved royal didn’t want an elaborate state funeral, instead asked for a more intimate affair during his final days. Before his death, he had a hand in making his own funeral plans, per Omid Scobie, co-author of Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.

How Prince Philip's Death May Mend Royal Family Wounds Between Princes Harry and William

How Prince Philip's Death May Mend Royal Family Wounds Between Princes Harry and William

“A state funeral is what Prince Philip is entitled to as the queen’s consort, and it would be a day of mourning for the country but would involve heads of state from around the world being invited to congregate at Westminster Abbey to remember his life,” Scobie told ET. “It is something that we last saw with Princess Diana’s funeral, the whole world stood still for that moment. With Prince Philip, he has asked for a much more quieter event. He has asked, in his words, a simple affair and that is exactly what is happening at the ceremonial service.”

“This will really give a chance for the royals to remember his life in a very peaceful and quiet way. It also avoids the worries that the government have over people congregating during the time of the pandemic,” he continued. “For Prince Philip, this is exactly what he wanted. It’s a send-off that he had asked for….He wanted it to be a simple affair, simply focused on the loved ones, the friends, and the family that were gathered there for that final moment, and that says a lot about his character.”

For more on Philip, see below.

Prince Philip, Husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Dead at 99

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