Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, involved in car crash

Scene of the accident involving Prince Philip
Scene of the accident involving Prince Philip

The Duke of Edinburgh has been involved in a car crash while driving near the Queen’s Sandringham estate, Buckingham Palace has said.

Prince Philip, 97, was not injured in the accident, which happened as he drove a Range Rover out of a driveway onto the A149 shortly before 15:00 GMT.

Buckingham Palace said the crash involved another car. Two people in the car were treated for minor injuries.

According to eyewitnesses, the car that the duke was in overturned.

The eyewitnesses said they helped the duke out of the vehicle. He was conscious but very, very shocked and shaken, they added.

Prince Philip
Prince Philip

The duke is back at Sandringham and has seen a doctor as a precaution.

The Queen and Prince Philip have been staying at the estate in Norfolk since Christmas.

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, tweeted a prayer in support to the duke.

Analysis: ‘Surprise that the duke still drives’

By BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond

There will be several sharp intakes of breath over this accident.

The first will be over the good news – that the Duke escaped unscathed. A photo of what is believed to be the accident shows what looks like a Range Rover resting on its passenger side, having turned or flipped as a result of the collision. That must have been some impact.

The duke was, a witness told the BBC, “very very shocked”. But the Palace says the duke was not injured and did not need medical treatment.

The duke is five months short of his 98th birthday. By anyone’s standards, getting away from an accident like that unhurt is pretty impressive.

There will be some surprise that the duke still drives himself on public roads. But he has always been fiercely independent, and would have resisted any suggestion that he be denied the right to drive himself.

And there will now be an investigation into the circumstances of the accident. It might be that the duke is about to be persuaded to give up the wheel.

The president of the AA, Edmund King said high profile car crashes involving elderly drivers often spark calls for bans or restrictions on older drivers.

But he added: “If driving restrictions based on age and safety were introduced we would be more likely to restrict young drivers rather than older drivers.

“Young, predominantly male, drivers are much more likely to crash within six months of passing their test than older drivers within six months of hanging up their keys.

“Older drivers often self restrict their driving by not driving at night and only driving on familiar roads.”

The duke famously drove the Obamas when the then-US president and first lady visited Windsor in 2016.

Prince Philip retired from public life in August 2017 having spent decades supporting the Queen and attending events for his own charities and organisations.

Buckingham Palace calculated he had completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.

Since retiring from official solo duties, he has appeared in public alongside the Queen and other members of the royal family at events and church services.

He did not attend the Royal Family’s church service at Sandringham this Christmas.

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