Queen helped to design hearse that drove her coffin to Buckingham Palace

It will be used again on Monday to take the late monarch to St George's Chapel for the committal service

The vehicle was used for the first time on Tuesday to take the queen’s coffin to Buckingham Palace after arriving from Edinburgh. Reuters
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The design of the new state hearse for Queen Elizabeth II's coffin was approved by the UK’s longest-serving monarch herself.

Jaguar Land Rover collaborated with the royal household and consulted the late monarch on the plans for the vehicle, Buckingham Palace said.

The vehicle was used for the first time on Tuesday to take the queen’s coffin to Buckingham Palace after arriving from Edinburgh.

Mourners lining the route had a clear view of the queen’s coffin, thanks to its glass roof and wide side windows.

The vehicle’s three interior spotlights shone brightly in the gloomy London evening as they illuminated the coffin draped in a royal standard with a wreath of Balmoral blooms.

The new state hearse is finished in royal claret, the same colour as other official royal and state vehicles.

It will be used again on Monday to take the queen from Westminster Abbey to Windsor for a committal service in St George’s Chapel at 4pm.

Prince Philip's hearse

The casket carrying Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, was driven to St George’s Chapel in a modified Land Rover, after he said he did not want a fuss made over his funeral.

"Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor," he reportedly said.

The vehicle was designed with the input of the Duke of Edinburgh himself.

Modifications he made included an open top rear section to rest the coffin in and the military green colour.

He began working on the design with Land Rover in 2003, 16 years before his death.

The duke served in the Royal Navy in the Second World War and requested that the original Belize Green bodywork be switched to Dark Bronze Green, which was used for many military Land Rovers.

The open top rear section where the coffin rested was also made to his specifications. They included rubber grips on silver metal pins to prevent the coffin from moving.

Fit for, and designed by, a prince: Philip's Land Rover funeral hearse.

The vehicle had matching green wheel hubs, a black front grille and a single cab. There were no registration plates.

The vehicle, a Defender TF5 130, was made in Solihull at Land Rover’s factory in the town.

The made the final adjustments in 2019, the year he turned 98.

The duke was a huge fan of Land Rovers and the royal family owned many of them over the years.

His coffin was adorned with his naval cap, sword, a flag that represented his Greek and Danish heritage, and a spray of flowers chosen by the queen.

Boris Johnson, who was British prime minister at the time, said the vehicle, with its "unique and idiosyncratic silhouette", perfectly summed up the kind of person Prince Philip was.

“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 and the 21st century," he said.

American royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith called the Land Rover a "stroke of genius".

"It is so much in his character ― he used to drive around Sandringham in an electric van in the '80s," she told USA Today.

Updated: September 14, 2022, 1:40 PM
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