Alloy engineers rushed to prepare the modified Land Rover Prince Philip as his own hearse just hours after he was hospitalized in February, it was revealed today.
A team from the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) was deployed from their base in MOD Lyneham, Wiltshire, when the Duke of Edinburgh entered King Edward VII’s Hospital in Marylebone in February.
Philip is believed to have worked with REME soldiers to modify two Land Rover Defenders to carry his coffin ‘some time ago’ after telling his wife the Queen, ‘Just put me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor. ‘
When he fell ill two months ago, army mechanics were sent to replace parts and perform safety checks on the vehicles – one black and one green – at an unnamed location where they have been in storage for several years, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Philip, Colonel-in-Chief of REME, is believed to have personally designed the vehicles, including the option of an open roof for use in fair weather. A MoD source told MailOnline that the vehicle is likely also armored.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral has been massively scaled back due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A special Land Rover is said to have transported the Duke’s body 37 miles from Wellington Arch in Hyde Park Corner to St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Now it travels alone from the castle to the church, where only 30 guests are allowed.
Prince Phillip’s Land Rover Defender 130 Gun Bus will be driven around Sandringham in Norfolk in 2020 by Princess Anne’s husband, Timothy Laurence. Hopital
Prince Philip is seen in a Land Rover talking to Queen in 2018 after planning and designing the unusual hearse that would carry him
Prince Philip was Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) based at MOD Lyneham in Wiltshire (pictured)
The Duke of Edinburgh has spent most of his life breaking the royal form, and will do so one last time on Saturday when he makes his final journey on the back of a Land Rover he helped design like a hearse.
Princes William and Harry and other senior members of the Royal Family will follow on foot as it drives to nearby St George’s Chapel for Saturday’s funeral. The queen does not participate in the procession.
Prince Philip’s final nod to Australia: how the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will pay tribute to the country he first visited as a teenager in the Royal Navy
Prince Philip first entered Sydney Harbor on March 14, 1940, as an 18-year-old on the British battleship HMS Ramillies. He’s in the front row, second from the left.
An Australian representative will stand in front of St George’s Chapel for Prince Philip’s funeral as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s wish to recognize the country he first visited as a teenager in the Royal Navy.
Prince Philip, who died peacefully in his sleep on Friday at the age of 99, will say goodbye on Saturday in the 15th-century chapel at Windsor Castle.
Australian defense adviser in the UK, Commodore Guy Holthouse, will reportedly be placed in front of the chapel as part of Prince Philip’s final tribute to Australia.
Mr Holthouse did not meet the Queen until March 31 at an event to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force.
Representatives from other Commonwealth countries, including Canada, New Zealand, and Trinidad and Tobago, will also guard the chapel.
Prince Philip, who would turn 100 on June 10 this year, visited Australia more than 20 times in his lifetime.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that he will not be in attendance to allow as many of Prince Philip’s relatives as possible to attend amid Covid-19 restrictions, which limit the number of guests to 30.
At a royal funeral like no other, the queen and her family will wear face masks and maintain social distance at the service, which will be broadcast live on television.
But a Buckingham Palace spokesman insisted that the broadcast still reflects the personal wishes of Prince Philip who meticulously planned his funeral.
The spokesman confirmed that it would not be a state event, normally reserved for monarchs, but a ceremonial royal funeral in line with that of the Queen Mother in 2002.
‘This event will be much smaller without public access. In accordance with government guidelines and public health measures, there will be no public processions and the duke’s funeral will take place entirely in the grounds of Windsor Castle, ‘he said.
The plans have received final approval from the Queen and reflect appropriate government advice. Despite these necessary changes, they still largely reflect the Duke’s personal wishes.
Although the ceremonial arrangements are limited, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the life of the Duke and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth.
Buckingham Palace will release full details of the service and guest list on Thursday when it is announced that there will be a dress rehearsal.
The Duke is currently resting in the private chapel at Windsor Castle. His body will not be laid out – where members of the public could have seen his coffin.
On Saturday, the Duke’s casket, accompanied by the Dean of Windsor and the Lord Chamberlain, will be moved to the state entrance of Windsor Castle by a Bearer Party from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
The company will place the crate in the Land Rover at 2:40 PM – presumably a modified Defender 130 Gun Bus that entered service in 2005.
A senior Palace official said, “The Duke of Edinburgh had a hand in designing these vehicles many years ago.” He added that there were two Land Rovers for ‘belt and braces’.
Representative detachments from Philip’s special military relations will be standing on the grass in the castle’s Quadrangle. The Quadrangle will also be held by the Household Cavalry and The Foot Guards.
At 2:45 PM, the Band of the Grenadier Guards, of which Philip was Colonel for 42 years, will lead the eight-minute procession to St George’s Chapel.
They will be followed by the Major General’s Party and then the Chiefs of Service, reflecting His Royal Highness’s close relationship with the military.
The Prince of Wales and other senior Royals will follow the Land Rover on foot with the Duke’s chest – draped in his personal stand, a wreath of flowers and his navy cap and sword.
Philips’ private secretary, Archie Miller Bakewell, one of his security guards, two of his pages and two of his servants, will appear at the back of the procession.
Buckingham Palace has announced that a ‘custom’ Land Rover Defender, which the Duke helped design himself, will carry his coffin on his final trip on Saturday (picture of the type of vehicle it could be)
The Band of the Grenadier Guards, of which Philip was Colonel for 42 years, will lead the procession to St George’s Chapel, followed by the Major General’s Party and then the Service Chiefs, reflecting His Royal Highness’s close relationship with the military.
At a royal funeral like no other, the eight-minute procession begins at Windsor Castle’s state entrance and ends at nearby St George’s Chapel
Minute guns will be fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from the east lawn of Windsor Castle for the duration of the procession, and the Curfew Tower Bell will ring.
The procession ends before the service at nearby St George’s Chapel, which begins with a national minute of silence at 3pm.
The no-nonsense service is attended by just 30 members of the royal family, including the Duke’s children and grandchildren.
Prince Harry will be flying from Sussex’s California mansion, but Meghan, 39, who is heavily pregnant, has been advised by her doctor not to travel to the UK.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, are expected to perform at the service.
After the service, the duke is buried in the chapel’s royal vault.