Police speak to Prince Philip after he is pictured driving without wearing a seatbelt
Police have spoken to the Duke of Edinburgh after he was pictured driving a new Land Rover without a seatbelt just 48 hours after his crash with a car carrying two women and a baby.
Images published on Saturday appear to show Prince Philip, wearing tinted glasses, back behind the wheel of a replacement Freelander on a public road on the Queen’s Sandringham estate.
The 97-year-old passed a police eyesight test on Saturday morning as the investigation into Thursday’s crash continues, with police saying that “any appropriate action” will be taken if necessary.
A spokesman said the force was aware of the photographs taken on Saturday and that “suitable words of advice have been given to the driver”.
She added: “This is in line with our standard response when being made aware of such images showing this type of offence.”
Buckingham Palace did not comment on the images.
Meanwhile the passenger in the Kia car involved has been named by Sunday newspapers as College of West Anglia student Emma Fairweather, 45, who broke her wrist.
The newspaper reports Ms Fairweather, a mother-of-two from King’s Lynn, has told family and friends she is unhappy with how the incident has been dealt with by police and Buckingham Palace.
A nine-month-old baby boy in the car was unharmed, while his 28-year-old mother, who was driving the car, suffered cuts to her knees.
The duke reportedly said “I’m such a fool” as he was pulled from his wrecked Freelander on Thursday after it flipped on its side from the impact in the crash close to Sandringham.
A replacement vehicle which the Prince was seen driving yesterday was delivered on Friday.
Philip exchanged “well-wishes” with the injured women and appeared to have no lasting problems following the collision on the busy A-road, a palace spokeswoman said on Friday.
A source said on the same day: “The duke’s routine in the coming days will continue as normal.”
He was examined at hospital on doctor’s advice, but a scan found no injuries of concern.
Norfolk Police said the women in the Kia were treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn following the crash and later discharged.
In a statement on Friday, the force said: “As is standard procedure with injury collisions, the incident will be investigated and any appropriate action taken.
“We are aware of the public interest in this case, however, as with any other investigation it would be inappropriate to speculate on the causes of the collision until an investigation is carried out.”
Retired NHS worker Victoria Warne spoke to the Duke at the scene of the crash as she looked after the injured occupants of the Kia.
The 72-year-old, from Norfolk, said: “The passenger from the other car told me, ‘I always wanted to meet a royal - but not this way’.
She said the duke asked after the welfare of the Kia occupants, adding: “He looked so worried and told me, ‘I’m such a fool’.”
Nick Freeman, the lawyer dubbed Mr Loophole, said the duke could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention if he was deemed to have made a mistake.
But he added: “If the sun was so low and right in your eyes, sometimes it’s impossible to see, and that may well have been the case, and that would afford him a defence.”
The duke, who retired from public duties in 2017 but remains active, could also avoid prosecution by surrendering his licence, according to the lawyer known for representing celebrity clients like David Beckham.
The crash happened as Philip’s Freelander pulled out of a side road on to a stretch of the A149 on which county councillors agreed to install average speed cameras and reduce the limit from 60 to 50mph on at a pre-arranged meeting on Friday.
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