Prince Philip's beloved driving carriage arrives at the his funeral

Prince Philip’s beloved driving carriage that he designed himself arrives at his funeral with his hat and gloves on the seat

  • The polished green four-wheeled carriage was designed by Duke of Edinburgh
  • Prince Philip got into carriage driving as a sport after being forced to quit polo
  • He would help write the rule book on sport of carriage driving and competed
  • He won the 1980 World Carriage Driving Championship as part of British team
  • The carriage and two Fell ponies will stand in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle 

Prince Philip’s beloved driving carriage that he designed himself has arrived at his funeral with his hat and gloves on the seat.

The carriage, which the Duke of Edinburgh began using at the age of 91, was brought in to Windsor Castle by his rare Fell ponies today — Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm.

The polished dark green four-wheeled carriage was pulled into the Quadrangle of the castle as the duke’s coffin was carried past on a specially designed Land Rover hearse. 

His racing hat and gloves were laid in the drivers seat in a poignant tribute to the prince and one of his favourite hobbies. 

Prince Philip’s beloved green carriage that he designed himself and two Fell ponies arrive at the Duke’s funeral in Windsor today

The carriage was pulled in to the Quadrangle with the Duke of Edinburgh’s hat and gloves laid on the seat

The polished dark green four-wheeled carriage was pulled into the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle

Carriage driving provided the duke with both a hobby to enjoy with family and friends — including fellow enthusiast Lady Penny Romsey — and a sport to focus his competitive spirit.

He played a part in writing the rule book for the exhilarating equestrian sport and would regularly compete — even helping Britain to a world championship win in the grounds of Windsor in the 1980s. 

The Duke designed many of his own carriages, which he would regularly drive through the vast grounds of the royal estates.

Made of aluminium and steel, the carriage used at his funeral was built to the duke’s specifications eight years ago, drawing on his knowledge of the rules set by the Federation Equestre Internationale (IEF). 

Philip’s racing hat and gloves were laid in the drivers seat in a poignant tribute to the prince and one of his favourite hobbies 

Prince Philip’s beloved driving carriage and the two rare Fell ponies that would pull it are set to feature at his funeral tomorrow in a poignant tribute 

The polished dark green four-wheeled carriage will stand in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle on Saturday as the duke’s coffin is carried past in a procession on a Land Rover hearse 

The Duke would help write the rule book for the sport and compete as Britain’s claimed a world championship win in the grounds of Windsor. Pictured: Prince Philip at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2017

The Duke of Edinburgh taking part in the Pony-Four-in-Hand at Windsor Home Park in 2005

Carriage driving would provide the Duke of Edinburgh with both a hobby to enjoy with family and friends – including fellow enthusiast Lady Penny Romsey – and a sport to focus his competitive spirit. Pictured: Prince Philip and Lady Brabourne at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2009

The carriage can seat four people at maximum capacity and can harness up to eight horses.

It has two padded black leather seats and a clock mounted on brass at the front, which features an inscription commemorating the gift of the timepiece.

The clock was presented to Philip by the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars on October 25, 1978, to mark his 25 years as their Colonel-in-Chief. 

Prince Philip had been designing driving carriages since the 1970s, after taking up the sport aged 50.

The carriage has two padded black leather seats and a clock mounted on brass at the front, which features an inscription commemorating the gift of the timepiece

The Duke was forced to give up polo in 1971 due what he called his ‘dodgy’ arthritic wrist, and decided to find a new sport to concentrate on.

‘I suppose I could have left it at that, but I have never felt comfortable as a spectator,’ he admitted.

Tennis, golf and squash were no good for his wrist and sailing would have taken him away from home at weekends.

‘It then suddenly occurred to me that this carriage-driving might be just the sport,’ Philip said.

Prince Philip loved nothing more than to go haring through the countryside at high speed, whip in hand, in a horse-drawn wheeled carriage.

‘I am getting old, my reactions are getting slower, and my memory is unreliable, but I have never lost the sheer pleasure of driving a team through the British countryside,’ he explained in the book he wrote about the sport.

Even when he was an octogenarian he continued to compete in demanding carriage-driving competitions.

The duke, as president of the IEF, had initiated drafting the first international rules for carriage-driving in 1968, which sparked an interest in the sport.

Prince Philip loved nothing more than to go haring through the countryside at high speed, whip in hand, in a horse-drawn wheeled carriage. Pictured: The Duke driving a carriage in 1983

Philip began training himself, starting with five bays from the Royal Mews and a four-in-hand driver at Sandringham with help from Major Tommy Thompson, former riding master of the Household Cavalry. Pictured: The Duke driving a carriage in 1974

Prince Philip, driving the Queen’s team of Bays, makes a splash at Home Park, Windsor Castle, while competing in the obstacle section of the International Driving Grand Prix


Pictured left: Windsor Castle provides the backdrop today as Prince Philip drives the Queen’s team of part-bred Cleveland bays to a Balmoral Dog Cart at Home Park, Windsor, in 1974. Pictured right: The Duke of Edinburgh in 1982

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip arrive at Smith Lawnin horse and carriage in June 1984

In 1971, he went to Budapest to watch the first European championship and then the World Championships in Germany in 1972 to see how the rules were working. Pictured: Prince Philip in 1986

In 1971, he went to Budapest to watch the first European championship and then the World Championships in Germany in 1972 to see how the rules were working.

Prince Philip began training himself, starting with five bays from the Royal Mews and a four-in-hand driver at Sandringham with help from Major Tommy Thompson, former riding master of the Household Cavalry.

The Duke of Edinburgh began his competitive career in 1973.

In 1980 he was a member of the victorious British team at the world carriage-driving championships held at Windsor and of the UK’s bronze medal-winning team in the European championships in Switzerland the following year.

Towards the end of the 1980s, he ceased driving four-in-hand teams but continued to drive competitively with teams of ponies.

In 1980 he was a member of the victorious British team at the world carriage-driving championships held at Windsor and of the UK’s bronze medal-winning team in the European championships in Switzerland the following year. Pictured: Prince Philip at the Royal Windsor Horse Trials

Prince Philip Carriage Driving in competition at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 1991

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Carriage Driving at the Windsor Horse show in 1995

Prince Philip rides through the water during the Pony Four-in-hand carriage driving event at the Royal Windsor Horse Trials in 2004

Prince Philip continued to drive his carriage well into his 90s and was pictured here in 2018

By far his most famous convert was Penelope ‘Penny’ Knatchbull, previously known as Lady Romsey now the Countess of Mountbatten of Burma, whom he coached.

He and Penny were often pictured together at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, sometimes riding mini motorcycles around the carriage driving course. 

The 67-year-old countess – who was one of the duke’s closest friends – has been given the honour of being one of the 30 guests at his funeral on Saturday.

Prince Philip also taught his daughter-in-law, the Countess of Wessex, while granddaughter Lady Louise Windsor, 17, has also taken up the sport.

The sport provide the Duke of Edinburgh with both a hobby to enjoy with family and friends – including fellow enthusiast Lady Penny Romsey (pictured) – and a sport to focus his competitive spirit

The sport was a hazardous one and Philip had what he called his own ‘annus horribilis’ in 1994 with ‘no less than eight disasters’.

‘I must have got a bit too close to the rails on the way off it. The next thing I knew I was out of my seat and flying through the air to the left,’ he wrote of one of the incidents in his aptly titled book 30 Years On And Off The Box Seat.

He eventually retired from the sport in 2003 in his early 80s when many his age had ceased to be involved with competitive sports decades ago.

But he still took part non-competitively in his 90s and continued to drive his team of Fell ponies around the royal estates as well as judging and keeping time at carriage-driving competitions.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex recalled some of the scrapes Philip got into while carriage-driving around the Windsor estate when paying tribute earlier in the week.

Sophie said Philip had been ‘pulled out of a few ditches here I seem to remember as well’.

Laughing, Edward said: ‘In the early days, yes, he used to have a few problems.’

Sophie added: ‘More recently too.’

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