NEWS
09/02/2019 18:47 GMT | Updated 09/02/2019 19:42 GMT

Prince Philip Surrenders Driving Licence Following Car Crash Disaster

Buckingham Palace has confirmed the news.

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The Duke of Edinburgh has voluntarily surrendered his driving licence, Buckingham Palace has announced.

Prince Philip, 97, escaped injury on January 17 when the Land Rover Freelander he was driving collided with another vehicle when he pulled out of a driveway on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk on to a busy A road.

The duke’s car flipped over in the crash, which occurred when he was apparently dazzled by the low sun, and he was initially trapped and had to be rescued by a passing motorist.

The other vehicle involved, a Kia, was carrying a nine-month-old baby boy, his mother who was driving, and Emma Fairweather as a passenger.

The baby was unhurt, but both women had to be treated in hospital.

A statement released by Norfolk Police today said: “Norfolk Police can confirm that the 97 year old driver of the Land Rover involved in the collision at Sandringham on Thursday 17 January 2019 has today (Saturday 9 February 2019) voluntarily surrendered his licence to officers.

“We will follow the standard procedure and return the licence to the DVLA.

“The investigation file for the collision has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for their consideration.”

A CPS spokesperson said: “We review each file carefully before a decision is made and will take this development into account.”

In the days following the car crash, Fairweather, who broke her wrist, called for the Duke to be prosecuted if found to be at fault.

In a letter dated January 21, Philip wished Fairweather 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”.

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The driver told the Sunday Mirror she was “chuffed” with the letter, adding: “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.

“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.”

Fairweather had previously complained that while the Queen, who had no involvement in the accident, had been in contact through a lady-in-waiting, she had not had any direct communication with the Duke.

It is understood a similar letter was sent to the driver of the Kia.

The Duke was photographed driving without a seatbelt 48 hours after the crash.

Norfolk Police are reported to have given him “suitable words of advice” after  images were published showing him back behind the wheel of a replacement Freelander on the Queen’s Sandringham estate.

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

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