My Car Quest

December 4, 2023

The Royal Hearses Fit for a Queen

by Wallace Wyss –

I was a bit surprised to see the Royal hearse carrying the Queen of England’s coffin was a Mercedes. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class hearse which carried Queen Elizabeth’s coffin from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh in Scotland was built by German coachbuilder, Binz.

Mercedes-Benz Hearse for Queen Elizabeth

Mercedes-Benz Hearse for Queen Elizabeth II

Binz has been in business since 1936 and originally built horse-drawn ambulances and hearses, but started converting luxurious Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the 1950s.

However, Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was moved from Buckingham Palace in London to Westminster Hall in London in a Jaguar hearse designed by The Royal Household and Jaguar Land Rover and approved by the Queen. This hearse is finished in the beautiful color of Royal Claret the same color as official vehicles kept at Buckingham Palace and used by members of the royal family for official duties.

Jaguar Hearse for Queen Elizabeth

Jaguar Hearse for Queen Elizabeth II – Andrew Matthews-Getty Images

The Mercedes model used has an extended wheelbase that allows it to maintain two rows of passenger seating. Binz even uses the same body panel supplier as Mercedes-Benz to maintain its appearance and quality.

I vaguely remember when Princess Diana died the hearse was a Daimler, made in England. And when Prince Philip died more recently, it was a Land Rover Defender.

I looked on the internet under Royal hearses and the Royal family garage has lots of hearses, including a RR Phantom VI, which seems to have a perfectly adequate window display.

I am just thinking of what PR puffers call “the optics,” i.e. how it looks. Here Britain lost hundreds of thousands of men in two World Wars against the Germans and yet when they bury the longest reigning British monarch they have a German vehicle carrying her remains at least for part of the trip. Bad optics.

I hope it isn’t a case of unreliability. One of my favorite Rolls Phantom pictures is when the Royal family was out on some occasion and the Phantom broke down and they were waiting for another ride or a tow truck.

So maybe I’m stirring up a tempest in a teapot and I’m not saying that one should never forgive former enemies and bury the hatchet but it just surprised me. I am an Anglophile through and through and like to see England as Traditional England [1] as much as possible, stiff upper lip, carry on, and so forth. I even have a British wardrobe, trilby hat, ascots, pin collars, the whole kit and kaboodle.

What say you?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss, the author of 18 car histories. He is currently doing oil paintings of exotic cars on commission. He can be reached regarding art at


Below are photos taken off the TV screen of the Queen’s funeral showing the cars that the royal family were chauffeured away in. They were British cars and all painted the same color as the Jaguar hearse. I assume this colour is Royal Claret. On TV it is a beautiful deep dark red.

Mike Gulett, Editor

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce



Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce with a heavy load on the right rear



[1] Just a reminder that both Rolls Royce and Bentley are owned by German companies and Jaguar is owned by an Indian company.

Mike Gulett, Editor

The Royal Hearses Fit for a Queen
Article Name
The Royal Hearses Fit for a Queen
One of the hearses that carried Queen Elizabeth II was a Mercedes.


  1. she was in fact german. so using a mercedes benz must be normal.

    all the normal royal vehicles are audi.

    they changed their name to windsor because they where based in windsor.

    they are german dna.

  2. Wouldn’t you know car guys are going to comment on the hearse. Elegant ride just as the Queen was so elegant! But isn’t Jaguar owned by India these days?

  3. Chris Lackner says

    The third Rolls-Royce picture is of the Phantom IV. It is the first of only 18 chassis built, most of which went to royalty and heads of state. This one was delivered to HRH Princess Elizabeth in 1950. It’s main difference from other RR cars of the time is that it had a military-derived straight eight of over 5 litres. The Series 2 version boasted over 6 litres capacity. When RR tried the engine in a Bentley as a trial for the Phantom IV, it went so fast they nicknamed it “the scalded cat”! Shame someone thought fit to update it by putting more modern lights inside the P100s. Princess Margaret also ordered one, as did the Duke of Kent, Sha of Iran, Aga Khan, etc. Of all the royal fleet it’s the car I most enjoy seeing. However, I suppose Harry thought, when he and Megan climbed into it after the service at Windsor, ” Oh, they’ve given us the old one, again!”

  4. Thought the Jag is made in “old

  5. i notice the final Jaguar had no registration plates.

  6. Isn’t that a Jaguar emblem on the rear of the hearse……?

  7. wallace wyss says

    They switched to a Jag sometimes. I think they should have had a British car ALL the time.
    I love the old Phantoms they had, a bit of the Olde World glamor. I actually met somebody in line for the Royal throne, Prince Michael of Kent, outside the Royal Opera House. He was driving a Phantom IV. We talked about cars. I think he had no bodyguard because each birth from those higher on the totem pole kicked him further down the line of succession

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