Queen Elizabeth II’s Hearse Was a Custom Mercedes-Benz E-Class

As television coverage continued of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, all eyes were on the custom car as it moved through the city. William Purves Funeral Directors supplied Queen Elizabeth II’s custom hearse, a Mercedes-Benz E-Class wrapped in black.

Queen Elizabeth II’s hearse was a custom Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Queen Elizabeth II's hearse was a Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Queen Elizabeth II’s hearse during the funeral service | UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images

No matter which channel you are watching, footage of Queen Elizabeth II is on the air. Fox News reported yesterday that Queen Elizabeth II’s hearse was a custom Mercedes-Benz E-Class during the funeral procession. As the Mercedes made its way across Scotland on Sunday, the transparent back of the E-Class allowed mourners to get a better look inside.

A spokesperson for the William Purves Funeral Directors, which had a sticker on the vehicle’s window, spoke with the news outlet. Apparently, the funeral company’s website crashed after the service for the Queen. The spokesperson said the hearse was part of the Silver E-Class Mercedes-Benz, which had been wrapped in black to “comply with Royal protocol.” William Purves fleet is notoriously silver in color.

“The hearse, and our team, are part of a meticulously planned and heavily rehearsed operation which is overseen by Palace officials,” William Purves Funeral Directors said. According to Drive.au, Queen Elizabeth II’s Mercedes-Benz E-Class was built by famed German coachbuilder Binz. Binz is an official coachbuilder for Mercedes-Benz limousines, ambulances, and funeral vehicles.

Queen Elizabeth II’s Mercedes-Benz E-Class was based on the Binz H4

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For the funeral, Queen Elizabeth II’s hearse was a Mercedes-Benz E-Class based on the Binz H4. It uses a 2009-2016 ‘W212’ as the base. These days, the 2016 and newer ‘W213’ model has an extended wheelbase for a total length of almost 20 feet long.

The extension allows room for front and second-row passengers, plus a nine-foot casket deck. In the back, the windows are 2.46 feet tall, bringing the total height to 6.29 feet.

The base vehicles are shipped from Mercedes-Benz to Binz, where Binz completes the transformation. The automaker provides the coachbuilder with identical metal pressings, which means the Binz version is about as close to a factory-built Mercedez-Benz as possible. A Mercedez-Binz, if you will.

Mercedes and Binz have been working together for a long time

Binz started out building ambulances and funeral bodies for horse-drawn carriages. By the time 1950 rolled around, Binz began working alongside Mercedes-Benz to create four-door versions of its popular vehicles. It offers four-door versions of the ‘W191’ 170S and “ambulance conversions of the ‘W136’ delivery van.”

After an American customer requested a station wagon version of the ‘W186’ 300C sedan, Binz agreed to create the custom car. The automaker built three at first, and the rest is history. Binz and Mercedes worked together to make ambulance versions of the W120 and other luxury vehicle options.

Someone removed the William Purves sticker at some point during the procession, as some onlookers didn’t appreciate the free publicity. Either way, Queen Elizabeth II’s custom Mercedes-Benz hearse completed its job without further issue.

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