The send-off for Prince Philip might be a royal funeral like no different, not least as a result of his coffin might be carried in a bespoke Land Rover hearse he helped to design himself.
It’s a break from royal custom – however his selection shouldn’t be unusual. Various hearses have turn into more and more well-liked in recent times as individuals go for extra personalised funerals.
“We’re undoubtedly busier than we’ve ever been,” mentioned Clare Brookes, proprietor of Volkswagen Funerals in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, which supplies VW campervan hearses in addition to a Morris Minor hearse. “Definitely because the pandemic, I’ve seen individuals have wished alternate options in the way in which they journey to the service as a result of they’ll’t have many individuals there.
“Something goes nowadays. Should you’re into Land Rovers, then a Land Rover is the one strategy to go – why would you wish to go in a Mercedes? If anyone despatched me out in something however a Volkswagen, I’d undoubtedly come again to hang-out them.”
Marian Sinclair’s fleet of motorbike hearses has grown to 14 on account of rising demand over time, and contains Harley-Davidsons, Triumph Bonnevilles and Suzuki Hayabusas.
Bike Funerals in Measham, Leicestershire, was arrange by her late husband the Rev Paul Sinclair in 2002 when he seen lots of his motorbiking pals have been being transported to their funerals in vehicles. “It’s good for individuals to have the ability to go together with a bang the identical manner they’ve lived as a biker,” mentioned Sinclair. “However we even have individuals who haven’t any affiliation by any means with motorbikes, they simply love the concept of one thing completely different.”
Deborah Smith from the Nationwide Affiliation of Funeral Administrators mentioned there was an actual growth in various hearses in recent times. “You may have a leopard print hearse, there’s a rainbow hearse down in Brighton, there’s pink hearses, bike hearses, bicycle hearses, a doubledecker bus, a lorry, a hearth engine,” she mentioned.
“We’re seeing a number of very fantastically personalised funerals that actually consider individuals’s lives, their pursuits, their needs, and [Prince Philip’s Land Rover hearse] is an excellent instance of that. It is a car that’s actually necessary to the duke.”
The Duke of Edinburgh was typically seen behind the wheel of a Land Rover, and was driving one till he surrendered his driving licence after a automotive crash in 2019.
“Prince Philip’s ardour has all the time been the Land Rover and there’s additionally a pleasant connection to the Queen’s position as a mechanic throughout the wartime. So I feel it’s sensible that he’s determined to try this,” mentioned Brookes.
“I reckon this might begin a little bit of a motion like David Bowie did along with his direct cremation. I feel individuals will begin to realise there’s extra selection on the market.”
Smith mentioned “slowly however certainly” there was a pattern in direction of individuals planning their very own funerals, and she or he hoped the Duke of Edinburgh’s hearse – believed to be a modified Defender 130 Gun Bus – will encourage extra individuals to contemplate their very own funerals.
“When a funeral turns into a topic of nationwide dialog, because it has this weekend, it does make individuals begin to consider what they may like and that’s all the time vastly precious,” she mentioned. “We’re not comfy as a society speaking in regards to the finish of life however the extra we are able to discuss it, the better it’s for our households when the time comes.”