Land Rover To Take Prince Philip On Final Journey

Much has been said and written about Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, following his passing at the age of 99. But what should not be forgotten is his love of Land Rovers.

The Duke was a fan of Land Rovers ever since their inception just over 70 years ago, and regularly drove them himself, both on the roads and on the more challenging terrain of the royal estate at Balmoral in the Scottish Highlands.

It may come as no surprise, therefore, that his final journey will be made in one. Indeed, the Duke helped design the modified Defender 130 Gun Bus himself.

Under the original plans for his funeral, it was to have taken his coffin from central London to Windsor. However, because of the Coronavirus restrictions preventing a procession down crowd-lined streets taking place, the drive will be a shorter one within the grounds of Windsor Castle to the Memorial Chapel for the funeral service.

When not behind the wheel himself he was often in a Land Rover with the Queen, an example being many of the royal couple’s outdoor engagements on their 1954 tour of Australia. They would stand up in the open-top back of the modified vehicle, which was painted in Royal Red, as they waved to crowds on the tour.

No doubt the Duke would have paid close attention whenever Land Rover engine repairs were required for the royal vehicles, which he continued driving until an unfortunate accident at the age of 98 that injured two people near Sandringham led to him finally giving up.

Not surprisingly, Land Rover itself posted a tribute on its website home page, stating that the Duke made a “significant contribution to British manufacturing, engineering and design”.

So while the royal family mourns and the nation remembers, Land Rover enthusiasts will no doubt raise a glass to a man who, for all the privilege and pageantry that surrounded him, was very much one of them.

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