Durban - A group of Durban Land Rover enthusiasts held a procession in memory of Prince Philip from the uMhlanga Ski Boat Club to the Royal Natal Yacht Club yesterday as the late prince’s coffin was carried to his funeral in a custom made Land Rover.
John Aritho from the Defenders of Durban, a Land Rover social club, said the procession was to honour and pay tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh.
“He was a Land Rover enthusiast just like us and a patron of the Royal Natal Yacht Club. He had been working on a custom Land Rover for about 19 years which is an exceptional feat. He told the queen that he always wanted it to carry his coffin to his funeral,” he said.
Aritho said growing up in Kenya, Land Rovers were the norm.
“They were everywhere because there were no tar roads and they could handle the terrain.”
There were about a dozen Land Rovers of varying shades from greens, blue, white and black and models in the procession.
Derick le Roux made his way through the procession in a first series Land Rover that belonged to his grandfather and was now his.
Accompanying him was his four-year-old son who Le Roux said had already shown an interest in cars.
The Duke of Edinburgh, aged 99, died last week at Windsor Castle. He had been in hospital in March due to a pre-existing condition and infection.
This week Buckingham Palace announced the prince would be laid to rest at St George’s Chapel with all the honours he was due as prince of the United Kingdom and partner to Queen Elizabeth II.
The funeral was broadcast live but only close family attended.
The queen, his wife of 73 years, followed closely behind the military green painted modified Land Rover TD5 Defender in a Bentley.
There was an open-top rear section of the vehicle where the prince’s coffin lay and metal pins that prevented the casket from moving.