At 97, Prince Philip gives up driving license

Britain's Prince Philip sits in a car as he watches the Royal Windsor Horse Show on the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 11, 2018. Buckingham Palace announced Saturday that the 97-year-old duke has voluntarily surrendered his driving license after a crash one month ago. Photo by Neil Hall/EPA

Feb. 10 (UPI) — Prince Philip, the 97-year-old duke of Edinburgh, has voluntarily given up his driving license, one month after he was involved in a crash in Norfolk, England, Buckingham Palace announced Saturday.

“After careful consideration the duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

On Jan. 17, he was involved in a collision on a crossroads near the Queen’s Norfolk estate.

His Land Rover overturned, but he was not injured. Emma Fairweather, a passenger in a Kia Carens sustained a broken wrist, though a woman driver and 9-month-old boy escaped unharmed.

Two days later, he was found driving without a seat belt and Norfolk Police gave him “suitable words of advice.”

On Saturday, Norfolk police said it had sent the investigation file to the Crown Prosecution Service.

“We review each file carefully before a decision is made and will take this development into account,” a spokesperson told The Telegraph, in reference to the license surrender.

The duke wrote a letter to Fairweather, dated Jan. 21, saying that it was a “very distressing experience.”

“I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident,” he wrote, on Sandringham House headed paper and printed in the Sunday Daily Mirror.

“The sun was shining low over the main road. In normal conditions I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming … but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.”

She told the newspaper: “I thought it was really nice that he signed off as ‘Philip’ and not the formal title. I was pleasantly surprised because of the personalized nature.”

In 2016, the duke drove President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.

He retired from public life in August 2017. Since then, he has appeared in public alongside the Queen and other members of the Royal Family at events and church services.


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