Bespoke state hearse for Queen who was consulted on the design

·2-min read
The new state hearse (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA) (PA Wire)
The new state hearse (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA) (PA Wire)

The Queen was transported in a bespoke new state hearse, designed in consultation with the late monarch, to allow the public a clear view of her coffin.

Queen Elizabeth II was long involved in the plans for the aftermath of her death, known as London Bridge, and had a hand in approving the plans for the ceremonial car.

The gleaming vehicle was used for the first time as the Queen’s coffin was taken on its sad and solemn journey from RAF Northolt back home to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

The hearse features wide windows along the side and back, a see-through glass roof and three bright spotlights inside along one roof edge, illuminating the raised coffin.

It is finished in Royal Claret, the colour used for the official royal and state vehicles kept in the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace and used by members of the royal family on official duties.

The hearse was designed by the Royal Household and Jaguar Land Rover – the firm who made the Duke of Edinburgh’s Land Rover hearse – and features the Queen’s Personal Royal Cypher.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Queen was consulted on the plans.”

The Palace added: “The State Hearse has been designed to allow members of the public to have a clear view of Her Majesty’s Coffin as it travels through London and Windsor.”

It will take the Queen’s coffin from London to Windsor after the state funeral on Monday for the committal service in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

People stopped their cars on the A40 and stood on the central reservation to watch the historic scenes as the coffin travelled from RAF Northolt.

Mourners cheered and clapped as the hearse, lit up for the night-time journey, travelled down Constitution Hill and around the Queen Victoria Memorial before being driven through the gates of the palace.

It processed slowly through the central arch into the quadrangle, where it was met privately by the King, the Queen Consort, the late Queen’s other children and her grandchildren.

The Duke of Edinburgh designed his own custom-built Land Rover hearse for his funeral in April 2021.

The project spanned 16 years, with Philip requesting a repaint in military green and designing the open top rear and special “stops” to secure his coffin in place.

Philip, who died when he was 99, began working on the modified Land Rover Defender TD5 130 chassis cab vehicle in 2003, the year he turned 82.

For her 90th birthday in 2016, the Queen, who once said she needed to be seen to be believed, delighted crowds by doing a royal drive-by in her “Queenmobile”.

She stood and waved with Philip from the open top burgundy State Review Vehicle, a LWB Range Rover Hybrid, which was especially built by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations for her in 2015.