Tributes to Prince Philip have begun circulating, giving us glimpses into a complicated but service-driven man, who, as Martin Iven wrote for Bloomberg, was perhaps the world’s “best-known stay-at-home husband.” Prince Harry honored his grandpa’s barbecue skills, his banter, and his cheek. Prince William hinted at who he was as a great grandfather: the kind of person who picked up his great-grandkids in a horse-drawn carriage to teach them a thing or two about mischief and adventure (via Instagram).
Beyond written and spoken salutes, the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will also symbolically honor his life. Buckingham Palace recently announced that, during his funeral procession, the prince will be transported via a purpose-built Land Rover that Philip, himself, helped to design. As per The Sun, the Land Rover in question is a hybrid, chosen to honor the prince’s work promoting environmental sustainability. The Sun has also reported, to the surprise, skepticism, (and even consternation) of many, that the royal family chose a woolen, 100 percent biodegradable casket for the Duke of Edinburgh.
Believe it or not, woolen caskets have a long, English history
The idea of a woolen coffin isn’t as new-age as it might sound. Were Prince Philip to be laid to rest in wool, in some ways his funeral would pay tribute to UK history. In the 1660s, as per Atlas Obscura, England passed a law ensuring that the dead were wrapped only in wool (instead of, for example, linen), to stimulate the country’s wool industry. Back then, affidavits and witnesses were apparently required to confirm woolen burials.
But if woolen burials aren’t new, some have pointed out that a wool coffin may not be practical for Prince Philip, environmentalist or not. The 100 percent biodegradable coffin that (The Sun suggests) may be Philip’s final resting place is structured, per the company’s website, of a “100 percent recycled cardboard frame.” For the purposes of ground burials, woolen coffins are, undoubtedly, environmentally friendly. And, were the Duke of Edinburgh to be buried in the Frogmore Estate Gardens, as originally speculated, the idea might be more likely. However, as one Twitter user posted, without alteration, a wool casket would be unlikely to survive long in the prince’s final resting place. Buckingham Palace recently confirmed that Philip will be laid to rest in the royal burial vault located at St. George’s Chapel, home to 10 British monarchs (via ABC News ).
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