Myths and stories on Prince Philip’s Land Rover hearse abound
Certainly quite a few Land Rover enthusiasts wouldn’t mind their mortal remains going out as did Prince Philip of England’s. What a way to go out – a custom-made Land Rover bore the casket of the royal to his final resting place. As the Sunday Times reported:
“From the moment it came into view at the state entrance of Windsor Castle, the open Land Rover bearing the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin captured the world’s attention. For eight minutes it remained centre stage as it wound its way to St George’s Chapel.”
Specs of the vehicle included a green leather and oak interior.
A reporter for the Telegraph (see video directly below) noted that Land Rovers were first used by the Royal Family in 1954, and calls the design-overhauled line of 1970 as “perfect for the Royal Family.” Finally, he adds that a Land Rover given the queen for ceremonial uses in 2016 was a hybrid vehicle.
Apparently, Prince Philip had taken the choice of hearse incredibly seriously. No simple jingoistic paean to British ingenuity, he first chose the hearse in 2003 and tweked its design for 16 years thereafter in preparation for his own funeral.
Tabloid newspaper The Mirror suggested that the Land Rover hearse was the product of an inside joke at the castle: “just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor,” the Prince had reportedly once quipped. [Warning: Quantity and quality of factual content in Mirror stories may vary.]
Some version of the already urban-legendary story behind the royal Rover made it all the way to South Africa, albeit a tad jumbled in the translation. In Durban of that country, the enthusiast group Defenders of Durban held a dozen-Land Rover procession in honor of their commonality with the deceased prince. “He was a Land Rover enthusiast just like us and a patron of the Royal Natal Yacht Club,” stated one driver in the procession. “He had been working on a custom Land Rover for about 19 years which is an exceptional feat. He told the queen that he always wanted it to carry his coffin to his funeral.”
Godspeed, Prince Philip! May your Land Rover travel smoothly forever…