The funeral of Prince Philip, who died on the weekend aged 99, could feature an electric vehicle, with reports from the British press saying that the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin would be transported in an electric Land Rover.
The late Prince, who helped found the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 1961 and the Australian Conservation Foundation in 1963, is well recognised for his lifelong contribution to conservation and – according to reports – this is to be reflected in his final send-off.
The Sun and The Mirror reported on Monday that the Duke would have an eco-funeral this coming Saturday, with a woollen coffin to be transported in a “specially modified” hybrid electric Land Rover Defender 130 Gun Bus that he helped to design.
According to The Sun, the Defender was worked on by Foley Specialist Vehicles, based in Harlow, Essex, after a meeting with the Duke. The paper cited a senior Buckingham Palace official as saying: “The Duke of Edinburgh had a hand many years ago in the design of these vehicles.”
The use of an electric vehicle for such an occasion carries on what is emerging as a new British royal family tradition, after Philip’s grandson Prince Harry and his new bride departed Windsor Castle as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a silver blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero back in 2018.
The stunning looking car, originally manufactured in 1968, was converted to electric drive by Jaguar Land Rover, making it super quiet – as you can observe in this Kensington Palace video – fossil fuel free, and faster than the original.
Later that same year, Prince Charles, who is also a passionate environmentalist, bought an all-electric Jaguar I-Pace, custom painted a Loire blue and to be powered via a charging point specially installed at his residence, Clarence House.
Philip, meanwhile, appears to have had his own strong interest in electric vehicles that stretched back to the early 1980s, with reports of Philip driving an electric Bedford van around London, as well as being driven in an electric seven-seater limousine at around the same time.
Land Rover, as it happens, does appear to run a line of specially modified Hearse Defenders, for funerals – one of which is pictured above. We will wait to see whether the reports prove true.
In the meantime, you can follow this link to see a photo of the Prince sitting in his green Bedford electric van in the early 80s. May he rest in peace.
Sophie is editor of One Step Off The Grid and deputy editor of its sister site, Renew Economy. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.