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The rise of the unique hearse

The funeral of Prince Philip was held on Saturday 17 April 2021 at St George’s Chapel. He died a few months before his 100 birthday.

Although the funeral was traditional in a lot of ways, despite the current Covid-19 restrictions, there was a marked contrast to previous royal funerals. Instead of a traditional hearse, Prince Philip opted for a green Land Rover.

It has been widely reported that the Prince apparently joked to the Queen about his funeral, saying “Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor.” He got that wish! With Land Rovers having been his favourite vehicle for many years, what better way to personalise his final journey.

Prince Philip Hearse

Prince Philip’s custom made hearse

The funeral of Prince Philip was held on Saturday 17 April 2021 at St George’s Chapel. He died a few months before his 100 birthday.

Although the funeral was traditional in a lot of ways, despite the current Covid-19 restrictions, there was a marked contrast to previous royal funerals. Instead of a traditional hearse, Prince Philip opted for a green Land Rover.

It has been widely reported that the Prince apparently joked to the Queen about his funeral, saying “Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor.” He got that wish! With Land Rovers having been his favourite vehicle for many years, what better way to personalise his final journey.

Prince Philip Hearseprocession

The procession followed the Land Rover hearse

Work began on designing and creating the Land Rover over 16 years ago. Prince Philip oversaw the work personally, with some final adjustments being made in 2019. The vehicle was repainted in military green at his request, with the open-top rear and ‘stops’ to secure it in place also his suggestion.

We wholeheartedly believe that all funerals should be personal and fitting to the person. No two lives are the same so why should the funeral be? At Tom Owen and Son, we take the time to get to know the life story of the person who has died, their hobbies and interests so we can make suggestions to ensure that the service is completely bespoke. Personalisation isn’t just restricted to the flowers you choose, or the coffin but can also include the hearse. Over the last few years, there has been an increase in unique funeral transport.

Kelly, Funeral Director says “I saw a video recently of a haulage truck company owners funeral, and they had built a custom made haulage truck for his coffin. He was proceeded by a cortege of haulage trucks and it was a very fitting tribute for him.”

So what options are available to you?

We recently hired a horse and carriage for a family, opting for fully white carriage and horses. This was customised with the deceased’s favourite football team flags along with blue headdress for the horses.

Marsen Horseand Carriage

Marsden Carriages

Another option could be a VW hearse. A small family business set up by Mark and Debbie Burnage, VW Hearse Hire offer a bespoke hearse and limousine. They are based in South East England and following their passion for all things Volkswagen, decided to purchase a VW camper van and convert it for their fathers funeral.

VW Hearse

VW Hearse Hire

Another alternative is to hire a motorbike hearse. One such company is Trike Funerals. Following a period working within the funeral industry as a bearer, they decided to build their own convertible sidecar hearse in addition to the Trike Hearse they already had.

Motorcycle Hearse

Motorcycle Hearse

A lot of the funeral industry hasn’t changed in over 150 years, however what people want from a funeral is changing. Tom Owen and Son have adapted over the last six months to provide a service that has modern touches yet still embraces the traditional values since the company was set up 90 years ago.

Scott, Managing Director says “The arrival of Tristan and Kelly to Tom Owen and Son funeral directors has seen a new found energy. They have so many ideas to improve the service for those who have been bereaved and it’s great to see so many of these ideas being implemented already.”

Please speak to one of our Funeral Directors if you would like more information

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