Philip's coffin made by same firm that constructed Freddie Mercury's

Prince Philip lies in a coffin fit for Queen: Duke’s handmade English oak casket was from the same family firm that constructed Freddie Mercury’s

  • Philip’s lead-lined coffin was fashioned by Henry Smith, which closed in 2005
  • As well as caskets, company was first in Britain to offer horse-drawn hearses
  • Also made coffins for other public figures including Jimi Hendrix and Diana Dors
  • Freddie Mercury passed away in November 1991 after contracting AIDS 

The family firm that made Prince Philip’s coffin by hand from English oak also constructed a casket for Queen star Freddie Mercury.

The Duke’s lead-lined coffin was fashioned by Henry Smith, widely-regarded as the finest firm of its kind because of its precision and quality.

As well as making caskets, the company was the first in Britain to offer horse-drawn hearses, and at one point had a stable with 70 steeds.

Henry Smith opened in London’s Battersea in 1869 and continued to make caskets by hand until it closed in 2005 when the last family member retired.

The family firm that made Prince Philip’s coffin by hand from English oak also constructed a casket for Queen star Freddie Mercury

Queen front man Freddie Mercury died in 1991 due to complications from AIDS. His funeral took place at West London Crematorium

It also made coffins for other famous figures including Jimi Hendrix and Diana Dors, while producers used its caskets in TV dramas including Poirot and films such as the comedy Johnny English and a number of Dracula movies.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin was created so long ago that no one at the Royal Family’s undertaker, Leverton & Sons, knows exactly when it was put together.

Andrew Leverton said his firm had ‘inherited’ the coffin in 1991 – along with the Queen’s – from the previous undertaker, JH Kenyon, which had, in turn, commissioned the coffins from Henry Smith.

Author and funeral historian Brian Parson said: ‘Henry Smith were the last coffin makers in London. 

Pallbearers carry Freddie Mercury’s coffin at his funeral in West London in 1991

Philip’s coffin had his standard, navy cap and a sword given to him by the Queen’s father when they married 73 years ago as the Queen sat alone on the left as it was placed ahead of the altar

Philip’s coffin had his standard, navy cap and a sword given to him by the Queen’s father when they married 73 years ago as the Queen sat alone on the left as it was placed ahead of the altar

‘They specialised in high-end coffins and were known to be the best, so it’s no surprise the Royals picked them.

‘The coffin would have taken weeks to make.’

The Duke’s casket – made from English oak, which is superior to the American oak most commonly used today – was placed in the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel yesterday.

The Queen stands alone as she watches Prince Philip’s coffin being carried by soldiers on its final journey into St George’s Chapel, Windsor today for the funeral of her beloved husband

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