The Duke of Edinburgh custom built his own Land Rover hearse over a 16 year period

15 April 2021, 17:03

The Jaguar Land Rover that will be used to transport the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh
The Jaguar Land Rover that will be used to transport the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh. Picture: PA

By Harriet Whitehead

The Duke of Edinburgh designed his own Land Rover hearse in a project which spanned 16 years.

Prince Philip requested a repaint in military green and designed the open top rear and special "stops" to secure his coffin in place.

His modified Land Rover Defender TD5 130 chassis cab vehicle has been unveiled for the first time, two days before his funeral in St George's Chapel.

Details on the vehicle include matching green hubs, a black front grille, a single cab and no registration plates.

He died aged 99 on Friday 9 April, and had made the final adjustments to the Land Rover in 2019, the year he turned 98.

Prince Philip first began the venture in 2003, the year he turned 82.

The Defender, with heavy duty wheels and angular structure, was made at Land Rover's factory in Solihull in 2003. Prince Philip oversaw the modifications throughout the intervening years.

The royal served with distinction in the Second World War and held special associations with all the Armed Forces, requested that the original Belize Green bodywork be switched to Dark Bronze Green, a colour used for many military Land Rovers.

He also designed the open top rear section where his coffin will rest, made to his exact specifications, including the rubber grips on silver metal pins known as the "stops”.

The Prince of Wales and other members of the royal family are expected to follow the hearse, on foot.

READ MORE: Prince Philip's funeral: Who will attend and what is the dress code?

The Jaguar Land Rover
The Jaguar Land Rover. Picture: PA

Thierry Bollore, Jaguar Land Rover's chief executive hailed Philip's "impressive knowledge and deep interest in vehicle design, engineering and manufacturing".

"We are deeply privileged to have enjoyed a very long and happy association with the Duke of Edinburgh over many decades," he said.

"We are also honoured that the Land Rover which the duke designed will be used at the funeral on Saturday.

"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."

Prince Philip used Land Rovers throughout his adult life and granted his Royal Warrant to Land Rover over 40 years ago.

In 2019, the Duke, then 97, was driving a Land Rover Freelander when he was involved in a serious car crash.

Prince Philip used Land Rovers throughout his adult life
Prince Philip used Land Rovers throughout his adult life . Picture: PA