Land Rover hearse designed by Prince Philip unveiled

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media captionPrince Philip funeral: The Land Rover hearse he designed

Images of a modified Land Rover designed by the Duke of Edinburgh to carry his coffin have been revealed.

The duke, who died at the age of 99 last week, worked on creating the bespoke hearse for 16 years, starting in 2003.

His modifications include the open top rear section, where his coffin will rest, and the military green colour.

On the day of the funeral, the Land Rover Defender will be used to carry his coffin to St George's Chapel.

Prince Philip's funeral will take place in the chapel at Windsor Castle at 15:00 BST on Saturday.

The Land Rover hearse was among the details of the ceremonial royal funeral released by Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

The duke's four children - the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex - as well as grandsons the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex, will follow the vehicle in a procession.

The Duke of Edinburgh began creating his own hearse in collaboration with Land Rover in 2003, the year he turned 82.

The duke, who served in the Royal Navy in World War Two, 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" or "stoppers" which prevent the coffin from moving.

The vehicle also has matching green wheel hubs, a black front grille, a single cab and no registration plates.

The Defender was made at Land Rover's factory in Solihull and the duke oversaw the modifications for several years, making the final adjustments in 2019, the year he turned 98.

image copyrightReuters
image captionThe Defender was made at Land Rover's factory in Solihull in 2003

The vehicle's original role would have been to transport the duke from Wellington Arch in central London to Windsor, 22 miles away, but the coronavirus pandemic curtailed those long-held plans.

The duke used Land Rovers throughout his adult life and granted his Royal Warrant to Land Rover more than 40 years ago.

image copyrightTim Graham
image captionPrince Philip was regularly pictured driving his Land Rovers
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe Queen and Prince Philip in the back of a modified Range Rover in 2005
image copyrightWPA Pool
image captionFormer US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have been among Prince Philip's passengers

Prince Philip died at Windsor Castle on Friday 9 April. His body is now resting in the castle's private chapel.

According to Buckingham Palace, the ceremonial parts of the funeral are in line with the duke's wishes.

Coronavirus restrictions in England mean only 30 people, socially distanced, are allowed to attend funerals.

The mourners will be members of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's families, including three of his German relatives. The procession and service will be televised.

How to follow the funeral on the BBC TV and radio

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh Remembered: BBC One, Friday 16 April, 19:00-20:05

The Funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh: BBC One, Saturday 17 April, 12:30-16:20 and 20:10-21:10

The funeral will also be broadcast on Saturday 17 April from 14:00-16:10 on Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service English, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio Ulster.

It will also be broadcast on BBC Radio Wales and BBC local radio with some variation in start times.

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