Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, officially “retired” last year, but the 97-year-old has retained his driving privileges and enjoys driving around the royal Sandringham estate. It remains to be seen whether that will continue following a wreck he caused that left his car off its wheels and another woman injured. The Duke has now formally apologized to Emma Fairweather, the woman he accidentally hurt.
“I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads,” he wrote in the letter Fairweather shared with Britain’s Sunday Mirror.
In a testament to its personal sentiments, the Duke signed the note “Philip” rather than by any official title.
“I thought it was really nice that he signed off as ‘Philip’ and not the formal title,” Fairweather, who suffered a broken arm, told the outlet. “I was pleasantly surprised because of the personalized nature. A lot of people said it was unrealistic that I wanted that human kindness from Prince Philip – which is what I saw this letter as.”
As for the reason for the crash, Prince Philip blames poor weather conditions for the January 17 wreck.
“In normal conditions, I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming from the Dersingham direction,” he wrote, “but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences. I was somewhat shaken after the accident, but I was greatly relieved that none of you were seriously injured.”
Prince Philip left the scene
Prince Philip also explained the reason for his leaving the scene of the accident was on the advice from local police.
“As a crowd was beginning to gather, I was advised to return to Sandringham House by a local Police Officer,” he explained. “I have since learned that you suffered a broken arm. I am deeply sorry about this injury. I wish you a speedy recovery from a very distressing experience.”
The question for the Prince, Queen Elizabeth, and their medical staff will be whether or not Prince Philip — whose health has been in decline for some time — is fit to be behind the wheel of a motor vehicle anymore. Taking away an elderly person’s license is often a difficult and traumatizing experience for everyone involved.
Thank goodness no one, including Prince Philip, was more seriously injured this time.