This is a fitting tribute to the Duke's love of Land Rovers.
The UK is mourning the loss of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II's late husband, who passed away at the age of 99 last weekend just two months before his 100th birthday. Outside of his royal duties, Prince Philip was a keen driving enthusiast and famously owned a 1954 Aston Martin Lagonda. He also enjoyed off-road driving and was often seen behind the wheel of a Land Rover Freelander.
Fittingly, Prince Philip's love of Land Rovers, design, and engineering will be honored at his funeral this week, as his coffin will be carried to his final resting place at the Frogmore Gardens of Windsor Castle in a custom Land Rover he helped design.
Specifically, the custom Land Rover is a modified military Land Rover Defender 130 Gun Bus that was rebuilt and delivered to the palace in 2016. It was built by Foley Specialist Vehicles, which has been modifying Land Rovers since 1966. As requested by the Duke, the modified Land Rover hearse is painted in a traditional Deep Bronze Green finish. It's built on a galvanized chassis and features a hand-built rear body. A backup Defender 130 Gun Bus will also be on standby at the funeral.
"The Duke had a great interest in design so that is where the involvement of the Land Rover comes from", a palace spokesperson said. "The Land Rover was very much part of the original plans as approved by the Duke."
During his funeral taking place on Saturday, April 17, the custom Land Rover carrying the Duke's body will be flanked by pallbearers from the Royal Marines, Regiments, Corps, and Air Stations. A band of Grenadier Guards will lead the procession.
Prince Philip continued driving on public roads until 2019, when he was involved in a serious car accident near the Royal Family's Sandringham Estate in his Land Rover Freelander that collided with a Kia. The Freelander flipped over onto its side, trapping the Duke inside. Even though he wasn't wearing a seatbelt, the Duke wasn't seriously injured but he gave up his driving license after the crash.