Prince Philip Spent 16 Years Designing His Land Rover Defender Hearse

"Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor," the late British royal once said

The green Land Rover Defender hearse custom designed by Prince Philip to carry his coffin for his funeral service
On Saturday, Prince Philip's coffin will be carried on the back of this custom Land Rover Defender hearse.

Shortly after the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Royal Household released the funeral arrangements to the public. In them was one peculiar detail: that his coffin would be carried to the service in the bed of a British Land Rover. While a number of outlets immediately speculated on the exact model, we now have the full details and photos. 

On Saturday, April 17 at 2:40 p.m., the coffin of the late husband of Queen Elizabeth will be brought forth from Windsor Castle and placed into a Land Rover Defender TD5 130, as reported by The Guardian. But this is no ordinary Defender; it was designed by Prince Philip himself over a period of 16 years. 

“He made the final adjustments in 2019, when he was 98,” noted The Guardian. “The Defender was made in Land Rover’s factory in Solihull in 2003, with Philip overseeing modifications throughout the intervening years. Land Rover has maintained the vehicle since it was built.”

The “TD5” classification refers to a more efficient 2.5-liter turbodiesel engine that was added to the Defender in the late ‘90s, while the “130” means this is a longer wheelbase model. Many are referring to it as a “gun bus” model thanks to the open bed which would normally be used for hunting. But here, instead of a bunch of Brits in Barbour waxed jackets, there are special rubber grips that will secure the coffin. 

“That vehicle’s unique and idiosyncratic silhouette reminds the world that he was above all a practical man, who could take something very traditional — whether a machine or indeed a great national institution — and find a way by his own ingenuity to improve it, to adapt it for the 20th or the 21st century,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

As the long development process makes clear, this was in Prince Philip’s plans all along. In fact, the late British royal reportedly once told the queen of his ideal funeral: “Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor.”

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