The Duke of Edinburgh has faced calls to give up driving after being involved in a crash near Sandringham last month. A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “After careful consideration the Duke of Edinbrugh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence.” It is understood it was a personal decision made by the Duke of Edinburgh to stop driving on public roads.
The 97-year-old was driving his Land Rover Freelander when it flipped onto its side after colliding with a member of the public’s Kia on January 17.
Just two days later the duke was pictured driving without a seatbelt which sparked further criticism.
He apologised for his part in the accident at a junction on the A419, a busy road which runs through the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, in a letter to the other car’s passenger.
Emma Fairweather broke her wrist in the accident and another woman in the Kia also needed hospital treatment.
A nine-month-old boy was uninjured in the collision.
In the letter, Prince Philip wished the crash victim a “speedy recovery” and explained the low sun was the reason he did not see her car coming.
He wrote: “I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley crossroads.
“I have been across that crossing any number of times and know very well the amount of traffic that uses that main road.
“It was a bright sunny day and at about three in the afternoon the sun was low over the Wash.
“In other words, the sun was shining low over the main road.
“In normal conditions I would have no difficulty seeing traffic coming from the Dersingham direction, but I can only imagine I failed to see the car coming.
“I am very contrite about the consequences.”
“I was somewhat shaken after the incident, but I was greatly relieved that none of you were seriously injured.
“As a crowd was beginning to gather, I was advised to return to Sandringham House by a local Police Officer.
“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 letter was signed off “Yours sincerely Philip”.
Ms Fairweather explained her reaction to receiving the letter to the Sunday Mirror.
She said: “When I opened it I saw the Sandringham House headed paper and went ‘Oh my God!’
“He asked how I was and said sorry that I was in pain. I was chuffed.
“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.”