Prince Philip tells Norfolk car crash victim he is 'deeply sorry'
PUBLISHED: 05:44 27 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:30 27 January 2019
The Duke of Edinburgh has told a mother-of-two, injured in the Norfolk car crash he was involved in, that he is “deeply sorry”.
Prince Philip, 97, escaped injury on January 17 when the Land Rover Freelander he was driving was in a crash with another vehicle when he pulled out of a driveway on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk on to the A149 at Babingley.
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. Norfolk police said both drivers gave negative breath tests after the crash.
Ms Fairweather, who broke her wrist, called for the duke to be prosecuted if found to be at fault.
In a letter to Ms Fairweather dated January 21, which is believed to have been hand delivered to her home in King’s Lynn, Philip wished her a “speedy recovery” and said he “failed to see the car coming”.
The note, reported by the Sunday Mirror, said: “I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads.
“I have been across that crossing any number of times and I 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 in seeing traffic coming from the Dersingham direction, but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.
“I was somewhat shaken after the accident, 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 is signed “Yours sincerely Philip”.
Ms Fairweather, 46, 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.”
Ms 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.
The Sunday Mirror reported that Ms Fairweather, a care support worker, has been signed off for two months and has instructed solicitors to pursue a compensation claim.
It is understood a similar letter was sent to the driver of the Kia.
Norfolk police’s investigation into the crash is expected to be completed within the next couple of weeks.
Philip was photographed driving without a seatbelt 48 hours after the crash.