At Prince Philip's request, Kiwi brigadier honoured to represent NZ during funeral

New Zealand has played a part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

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Brigadier Lofty Hayward wore a kahu huruhuru as the only New Zealander part of the service. Source: 1 NEWS

As planned, the ceremonial funeral had a distinct military flavour, reflecting the Prince Philip’s long association with the Royal Navy, Royal Marine’s and other branches of the military.

Upon his wishes, positioned in the Horseshoe Cloister of Windsor Castle were the Commonwealth defense advisers from Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand.

"It was sobering, it was solemn," Brigadier Lofty Hayward, NZ’s Defence representative in London told TVNZ.

"Everybody knew their parts and everyone was very careful to ensure that for us, it was a display and respect to acknowledge a person who gave so much to both her majesty in the UK and the Commonwealth."

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During the televised broadcast, Brigadier Lofty was seen on camera wearing a kahu huruhuru [Māori cloak] as he waited for the Duke’s custom built military green Land Rover carrying his coffin arrive outside the steps of St George’s Chapel.

"I was conscious I was the only Kiwi there," he said.

"To wear the kahu hururu just reminded me what my heritage is and where I come from, the men and women who I have served with over the years in the NZ defence force but also our heritage and history, and that’s the link for me with the Duke of Edinburgh," he added.

The senior defence boss met the Queen and Duke on the 75th anniversary of D-Day Commonwealth service at the Bayeux Cathedral in Normandy, France.

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The Queen sat alone during the moving funeral for her husband of 73 years. Source: 1 NEWS

He admired Prince Philip, who travelled to NZ a number of times, for his ability to connect and engage with the armed forces at a drop of a hat.

"The service he’s given to this country, the Commonwealth, the support he’s given Her Majesty is incredible," he said.

"It’s almost beyond us to comprehend what he’s given us over the last 7 decades."

Commonwealth defence advisers work with UK armed forces through support and training operations.