Buckingham Palace has confirmed that 97- year-old Prince Philip is ready to surrender his driver’s license one month after causing a car accident near the royal Sandringham estate that left a mother of two with a broken wrist.
“After careful consideration, the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license,” Buckingham Palace said, according to Fox News.
Prosecutors who are still deciding whether or not to charge Philip for his role in the January 17 crash said that they would take this move into consideration. The Duke of Edinburgh was driving a Land Rover when he smashed into a Kia. Though one of the women in the Kia was injured, Philip did not have any injuries himself.
The royal seemed unfazed by the crash at first, as he was photographed driving again without a seatbelt just two days later. His wife Queen Elizabeth and son Prince Charles had reportedly asked Philip repeatedly to stop driving, but he stubbornly refused to give up his license, until now. Norfolk Police have also since confirmed that Philip “voluntarily surrendered his license to officers.”
Prince Philip apologizes to crash victim
Weeks after the crash, Philip penned a letter of apology to Emma Fairweather, the woman injured in the crash. In the letter, Philip wrote, “I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.”
Emma, who had originally called for Philip to be prosecuted if he was shown to have caused the crash, admitted that she was touched by the letter.
“I thought it was really nice that he signed off as ‘Philip’ and not the formal title. I was pleasantly surprised because of the personalised nature,” she said. “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.”
While it is not an easy decision for an elderly person to give up their driver’s license and the independence that comes with it, we think Philip made the right decision here. He deserves all the kudos in the world for being able to drive into his late 90s, but if things have gotten to the point where he’s causing accidents, it’s time to let his license go. We can only imagine how devastating it would be for the royal family if Philip seriously injured anyone while driving, and as someone who has access to chauffeurs, there’s really no reason that he should be behind the wheel in the first place.