Never one to play by the rules, Prince Philip’s final ride won’t be in a traditional hearse. Instead, the Duke of Edinburgh will be carried off in a custom Land Rover, which he designed himself.
Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince Philip’s funeral will take place on April 17. As per the Duke’s instructions, it will be a quiet affair with only 30 people attending St George’s Chapel for the funeral service. All will be members of the royal family — except for the Duke’s private secretary, Archie Miller-Bakewell.
Custom Land Rover
Philip’s body will be transported to his final resting place at the Frogmore Gardens of Windsor Castle by a Land Rover Defender 130 Gun Bus delivered to the palace back in 2016.
“The duke had a great interest in design, so that is where the involvement of the Land Rover comes from,” a Palace spokesman said. “The Land Rover was very much part of the original plans as approved by the duke.”
According to The Drive, Philip ordered the custom Land Rover back in 2016. He had it delivered by Foley Specialist Vehicles, a company specialising in restoring, modifying or converting a Land Rover Defenders.
“We have just delivered a totally rebuilt 130 Defender Gun Bus to the Duke of Edinburgh for use on one of the Estates,” read a Facebook post by Foley Specialist Vehicles in 2016.
“Built to his specifications in the traditional Deep Bronze Green to an ‘As New’ standard. Built onto a galvanised chassis and hand-built rear body.”
Used by the British Army, the Land Rover Defender 130 Gun Bus has various military uses. It’s a big vehicle with an untold number of potential variations and options.
Prince Philip’s pick
Prince Philip’s custom Land Rover comes as little surprise to those who knew the Duke best.
The Prince has a long-standing relationship with the car, and following his passing, Land Rover was quick to offer their condolences.
After the news of his death was confirmed, a spokesperson at Jaguar Land Rover issued a statement, which read: “At Jaguar Land Rover, we are deeply saddened by the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen & Royal Family.
The Duke devoted his life to public service & made a significant contribution to UK manufacturing, engineering & design. pic.twitter.com/VQRVUgcZS5
— Jaguar Land Rover (@JLR_News) April 9, 2021
“Our thoughts and condolences are with Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family at this time. His Royal Highness devoted his life to public service and made a significant contribution to British manufacturing, engineering and design.”
The Royal family has long maintained an exclusive relationship with Land Rover, and the company holds an official warrant as a supplier to the royal family. Despite his obvious affection for the car, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Philip and Land Rover.
The Duke was driving a Land Rover when he was involved in a crash that injured two women in 2019.
Following the crash, Prince Philip voluntarily surrendered his license, and since then, he has rarely been spotted in his beloved car of choice. But this Saturday, Prince Philip will receive one final ride in a Land Rover.