Duke of Edinburgh surrenders driving licence after car crash

The Duke of Edinburgh has surrendered his driving licence, after being involved in a crash and then being spotted behind the wheel without a seatbelt.

Philip, 97, voluntarily gave up his credentials on Saturday, Buckingham Palace said.

He apologised for his part in an accident on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk when his Land Rover Freelander collided with another car last month, leaving two women needing hospital treatment.

Broken glass and car parts on the side of the A149 near to the Sandringham Estate where the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in an accident (John Stillwell/PA)

Some 48 hours after the crash he was pictured driving without a seatbelt, prompting criticism.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “After careful consideration, the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence.”

He surrendered his licence on Saturday, a spokeswoman added.

Philip’s driving woes began when his car flipped over after he pulled out into a busy A road and collided with a Kia, carrying a nine-month old boy, his mother and another passenger.

He escaped injury, but passenger Emma Fairweather broke her wrist and called for the duke to be prosecuted if he was found to be at a fault.

In a letter dated January 21, Philip wished her a “speedy recovery” and said he “failed to see the car coming”, the Sunday Mirror reported.

He blamed the low, bright sun for obscuring his vision, adding he was “very contrite about the consequences”.

The Duke of Edinburgh behind the wheel last May (Steve Parsons/PA)

The crash did not immediately put Philip off driving.

Wearing tinted glasses, he was photographed at the wheel of a replacement Land Rover while not wearing a seatbelt in the ensuing days.

Police issued Philip with “suitable words of advice” and said “any appropriate action” would be taken if necessary.

At the time of the collision, celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman said Philip could face a prosecution for driving without due care and attention, which carries an unlimited fine.

But the lawyer, dubbed Mr Loophole, said the duke could avoid prosecution by surrendering his licence.

- Press Association


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