'Suitable words of advice' given to Prince Philip for driving without seatbelt

Queen Elizabeth’s 97-year-old husband Prince Philip received a warning from police after he was photographed apparently driving without a seat belt, just two days after he was involved in a crash while at the wheel.

Newspapers showed pictures of Philip driving a replacement Land Rover on Saturday at the royals’ Sandringham residence in Norfolk. He did not appear to be using a seatbelt while travelling on a public road.

“We are aware of the photographs,” a police spokesperson said. “Suitable words of advice have been given to the driver and this is in line with our standard response when being made aware of our receiving such images showing this type of offence.”

On Thursday, Philip escaped without injury when his car flipped over following a crash with another vehicle close to Sandringham.

Passenger complains royals haven’t reached out

Philip was unhurt, although shaken in the crash. The other driver, a 28-year-old woman, suffered cuts to her knee, and a woman passenger in the car, which also had a nine-month-old baby on board, sustained a broken wrist. They were taken to hospital but later released.

A spokeswoman for Philip, asked about Saturday’s incident, said: “It’s a matter for Norfolk police.”

The adult passenger who was injured in the crash has complained to the British press that she has not been contacted by Philip or the Queen since the accident occurred.

The accident is still being investigated and no one has been arrested or charged. But the incident — and Philip’s subsequent driving apparently without using a seatbelt — is raising questions about his continued use of roadways.

Passed vision test

Buckingham Palace says Philip has a valid driver’s licence. There is no upper age limit for licensing drivers in Britain, although drivers over 70 are required to renew their licences every three years and tell authorities about certain medical ailments that might raise safety issues.

He passed a vision test administered Saturday as part of the investigation into the accident.

The car crash involving Prince Philip’s Land Rover, right, and a Kia vehicle occurred near the Sandringham royal estate in England on Thursday. (Dylan Bailey/Reuters)

The palace said Friday that Philip and the Queen had privately contacted the other people in the crash and exchanged good wishes, but Emma Fairweather, 46, told the Sunday Mirror this was not the case.

“I still haven’t had any contact from the royal household,” she told the newspaper. “Maybe he should prioritize that over test driving his new car.”

‘It would mean the world to me’

Fairweather suffered a broken wrist in the accident.

She said “it would mean the world to me” if Philip offered an apology.

Police have not disclosed who was at fault for the crash, which happened after Philip drove onto a main road from a side road in a rural part of eastern England near one of the Queen’s favoured retreats, the Sandringham estate.

The Queen and Philip have been on an extended Christmas break in Sandringham, their holiday tradition for many years.

Philip has been in generally good health despite his advanced years and was photographed in December driving a horse-drawn carriage.

He has largely retired from public life but still is occasionally seen at family occasions with the Queen.

Philip has developed a reputation for brusque comments and often headline-grabbing verbal gaffes.



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