Prince Philip Designed Land Rover Hearse Carrying His Coffin

Prince Philip, who died just shy of his 100th birthday, has been making plans for his funeral for some time. One of the things he focussed on was the vehicle that would carry his body to his final resting place at Windsor Castle. The custom-built Land Rover he helped design is fashioned around a Defender 130 Gun Bus.

Prince Philip has been known to favor Land Rovers

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh  in Land Rover
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in the back of an open Land Rover | Getty

The Prince has been known to favor Land Rover vehicles. A car enthusiast himself, his coffin will be transported in a ceremonial funeral procession inside of the SUV. The Prince got involved in the cortege years ago. A Defender 130 Gun Bus was commissioned in 2005 originally for use at his Sandringham estate.

Foley Specialist Vehicles did the actual modifications. Design and prep were done by a team from the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. The UK’s Daily Telegraph reported that when the Prince’s health took a turn earlier this year the team began transforming the SUV. 

A one-off Land Rover was made to Philip’s specifications

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh
Queen Elizabeth II, The Queen, and Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh, stand in a Land Rover and acknowledge the crowds on National Commemoration Day | Getty

Land Rover SUVs Are More Rugged Than They Appear

This special Land Rover was made to Philip’s specifications painted Deep Bronze Green. The hand-built rear portion of the body sits on a galvanized chassis. Only two models like this were ever built. It is being speculated that the Land Rover could have an open-top but details are being kept secret. 

Members of the Grenadier Guards will wait at the state entrance to Windsor Castle for the coffin. Then they will place it into the Land Rover. The idea of a Land Rover used for this purpose started as a joke between the Prince and Queen Elizabeth. The two were married for more than 70 years. Supposedly, Prince Philip would tell the Queen, “Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor.” 

The funeral will be a private affair mostly due to COVID-19 restrictions in the UK. Only about 20 people will be in attendance. A royal source told the Telegraph: “Despite all the changes due to the pandemic it will be a special service befitting of the remarkable man whose loss will be immeasurable.”