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Doctors give the Duke of Edinburgh the all-clear

Prince Philip has been given the all-clear after his car smash near Sandringham and exchanged ‘well wishes’ with the driver and passenger who were hurt, Buckingham Palace announced tonight. 

The Duke of Edinburgh visited hospital in King’s Lynn after the 97-year-old’s Land Rover was struck and flipped over by a Kia, which was carrying a nine-month-old baby and its mother, on a 60mph A-road. 

The 28-year-old Kia driver injured her knee while a passenger, 45, broke her wrist but Buckingham Palace said tonight that Philip had suffered ‘no injuries of concern’. 

Today Philip visited Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn – named after the Queen Mother rather than his wife – and has now returned to Sandringham.  

The Duke has also made contact with the driver and passenger of the other car and exchanged ‘well wishes’ after they both needed treatment in hospital. 

Police were today investigating the smash as it was revealed the Queen’s husband was able to walk over and ask them: ‘Is everyone else alright?’. 

Barrister Roy Warne pulled Prince Philip, 97, from the wreckage of his Land Rover and said the royal told officers he had been ‘dazzled by the sun’ before the collision near the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk at 2.45pm yesterday.

 

Prince Philip has been given the all-clear after his car smash near Sandringham (pictured) in which two women were injured after their Kia crashed into his Land Rover, Buckingham Palace announced tonight 

Norfolk Police told MailOnline today they are treating the crash like any other road traffic collision, meaning they are likely to question the Duke once he is recovered. 

A force spokesman said: ‘The incident will be investigated and any appropriate action taken’. 

Buckingham Palace has confirmed Philip has an up to date driving licence, renewed every three years since he was 70, but it is still unclear if and when he took his test.

The Queen will be ‘very annoyed’ with her husband, according to royal expert Ingrid Seward, and Prince Charles said recently he was ‘always worried’ about his father’s determination to keep driving well into his nineties.

If Philip was at fault for the smash he could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention – but could avoid court by surrendering his driving licence, ‘Mr Loophole’ Nick Freeman has said. 

Despite the ongoing police investigation a new Land Rover Freelander was delivered to Sandringham today, suggesting Philip is not ready to give up driving just yet.

The crash also raises major security questions after it emerged there was no royal protection officer in the car with him. 

Princess Diana’s police bodyguard Ken Wharfe told MailOnline today it is a protocol breach and Scotland Yard would have to investigate. 

Philip is believed to have just left Sandringham, circled red, and was turning on to the A149  at this junction when he collided with a Kia and his car cartwheeled on to the other side of the road, circled blue

Philip is believed to have just left Sandringham, circled red, and was turning on to the A149  at this junction when he collided with a Kia and his car cartwheeled on to the other side of the road, circled blue

Shattered car parts and windscreen glass at the scene near to the Sandringham Estate today where the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road accident while driving 

Shattered car parts and windscreen glass at the scene near to the Sandringham Estate today where the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road accident while driving 

Prince Philip is 'conscious but very shocked and shaken' after crashing his Land Rover  in a dramatic car crash near the Sandringham estate. The Queen is by the Duke's side following the collision which happened just after 3pm when he was pulling out of a driveway onto the A149 in Babingley, Norfolk which leads to Sandringham. Images have emerged showing the black Land Rover with severe damage to its left side

Prince Philip is ‘conscious but very shocked and shaken’ after crashing his Land Rover in a dramatic car crash near the Sandringham estate. The Queen is by the Duke’s side following the collision which happened just after 3pm when he was pulling out of a driveway onto the A149 in Babingley, Norfolk which leads to Sandringham. Images have emerged showing the black Land Rover with severe damage to its left side

Armed Police arrive at Sandringham as a new Freelander - and exact replica of the one Philip crashed - arrives for him

Less than 24 hours after yesterday’s crash a new replacement Land Rover Freelander is delivered for the Duke of Edinburgh at Sandringham today – suggesting he may not give up driving just yet

Norfolk Police told MailOnline they are treating the crash like any other incident and sent officers to the scene today

Norfolk Police told MailOnline they are treating the crash like any other incident and sent officers to the scene today

Buckingham Palace and the Met both told MailOnline they do not discuss royal security. 

Roy Warne, 75, was driving home from hospital with his wife Victoria, 72, who had just been given the all clear from breast cancer, when he saw the Duke’s car ‘tumbling across the road’. 

He helped free the ‘conscious’ but ‘very shaken and shocked’ royal through the 4×4’s sunroof as the Duke shouted: ‘My legs! Where should I put my legs?’

Mr Warne said: ‘He [Philip] wasn’t rude. He was very shaken and he went and asked: ‘Is everyone else alright?’. He’s a very brave man. He didn’t make a big fuss about it’.

He added: ‘He is lucky to be alive. I saw the Duke’s car careering, tumbling across the road – it ended up on the other side, having rolled right over. It was an astonishing escape for everyone. People could have been killed. The impact was enormous’.

Mr Warne said he wasn’t sure where the Duke’s security detail had been but added that police arrived on the scene in a different car ‘very quickly’, once he had pulled Philip out. 

As Prince Philip recovers at Sandringham, it has emerged:

  • The royal was saved by his armoured Land Rover that protected him despite being hit by a car at up to 60mph and rolling across the carriageway;
  • Duke of Edinburgh pulled out of junction and was hit on driver’s side by Kia carrying a nine-month-old baby, its mother, 28, and another woman, 45. Baby was uninjured but women suffered broken arm and injured knee; 
  • Roy Warne, 75, pulled the Duke out via the sunroof and said the royal was ‘shocked’ but able to walk over to the crash victims and ask if they were injured;
  • Police are investigating the smash and top lawyer Mr Loophole admits Philip could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention or forced to give up his licence;
  • Princess Diana’s bodyguard Ken Wharfe tells MailOnline there will be a Scotland Yard probe into why royal was driving without a royal protection officer with him;
  • Philip has had a new Land Rover delivered less than 24 hours after his car crash on road where there have been 40 serious accidents in the past six years;

Philip is believed to have pulled out of a side-road, coming from Sandringham House, on to the busy A149 where the Kia, travelling at up to 60mph, struck his side of the 4X4 in a so-called ‘t-bone’ smash.

Prince Philip could be prosecuted for driving without due care, says Mr Loophole

The Duke of Edinburgh collided with another car after pulling out into a main road, according to witnesses.

If that was the case, he could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention, which carries an unlimited fine, according to Nick Freeman, the lawyer dubbed Mr Loophole.

But the 97-year-old royal would have a good defence if he blamed being blinded by the sun – as one witness reported – and could also avoid prosecution by surrendering his licence, Mr Freeman added. 

Mr Freeman, known for representing celebrity clients such as David Beckham, said it appeared the duke pulled out into the path of the other car in Thursday’s crash near Sandringham.

‘If he simply drove without due care and attention because of a relevant medical issue – because maybe at 97 you’re just not as sharp as you would have been – and he’s just made a mistake, which is probably what’s happened – on the face of it he would be driving without due care and attention,’ Mr Freeman said.

But Adam Shaw, from solicitors Lewis Nedas Law said he did not think Philip would be prosecuted.

He said: ‘Unless somebody could say that he was driving in a manner in which he ought not to be, i.e. going too fast or taking corners without viewing properly. But on the face of it, I don’t think that he’s going to be investigated. But I don’t think it will be going anywhere.’

He added: ‘I don’t think he’s committed a criminal offence. I think it’s just an accident. It sounds to me as if he’s been breathalysed and I don’t think there’s any suggestion that he’s been dangerously driving.’

According to Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance, the offence of driving without due care and attention is committed when a person’s driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver.

The test of whether the standard of driving has fallen below the required standard applies both when ‘the manner of driving in question is deliberate and when it occurs as a result of incompetence, inadvertence or inexperience’, the CPS guidance states.

The offence carries up to nine points and an unlimited fine based on net disposable income.

There is a precedent for members of the royal family to be prosecuted for driving offences.

Philip’s daughter the Princess Royal was given a written warning for speeding on the M1 in 1972 and fined £40 after she was clocked doing 96mph on the same motorway five years later.

In 1990 the Princess Royal was banned from driving and fined £150 for speeding by magistrates in Stow-on-the-Wold, in Gloucestershire, and in 2001 she was fined £400 after admitting driving her Bentley at 93mph on a dual carriageway.

Mr Freeman said that before bringing any charges against the duke, prosecutors must weigh up whether they are in the public interest.

It is not known where he was going but he enjoys visiting friends in the area and going to local shops.

His Land Rover was flipped on to the passenger side, and then slid across the carriageway before ‘somersaulting’ back on to the driver’s side and coming to a halt on a grass verge.

Philip was pulled out of the sunroof by driver Mr Warne, who had stopped at the scene, and the Duke was breathalysed by police, which came back negative, and rushed back to Sandringham where he is recovering with the Queen by his side. He will be monitored by doctors for 48 hours for signs of concussion or internal injuries.

The Duke of Edinburgh was clearly dazed after the crash but was uninjured, but two women inside the Kia were treated in hospital, one for a suspected broken arm, the other for an injured knee. The nine-month-old baby was unharmed.

Mr Warne immediately pulled over to help, fearing that he would find the occupants of both cars dead or seriously injured.

He first rushed over to the Kia which was partially in a hedge with smoke pouring from the engine, making him fear it would explode.

Mr Warne said he immediately saw a baby boy in the back of the Kia with two women in the front seats.

He said: ‘There were two woman in the car and one of them had a broken arm and they were very shaken.

‘One of them was the mother of the child and she was quite upset. The windows were down and with another chap, we got the baby out.

‘My main concern was their car because there was a lot of smoke around it and I thought the tank might go up.

‘The person in the car behind me also stopped and the passenger in that car actually took the baby in his arms after we freed it from the baby harness.’

Mr Warne of Thornham, Norfolk, said he then turned his attention to the upturned Land Rover without realising that it was being driven by Philip.

He said: ‘I got the baby out and then I got to the other car. There was an elderly gentleman in there otherwise known as the Duke of Edinburgh and I helped him to get out

‘I had no idea at first that it was him because I couldn’t see his face. I helped him move his legs which were a bit trapped and a bit crushed, then I saw his face and I realised who it was.

‘He didn’t seem to be in pain and I don’t think he was particularly concerned but obviously he was very shocked in the circumstances.

‘It was obviously a horrendous accident. Its just amazing that people were not more seriously injured.

‘The door was underneath. What I thought was the door was the roof. It was all through 90 degrees. I’m not sure if I got him out through the corner of the windscreen or the sun roof

‘The windscreen was badly splintered but it was still in place and I prised it from the corner and freed it from the joint.

‘He was trapped. I asked him to move his left leg and that freed his right leg and then I helped him get out. I can’t remember what he said but it was nothing rude.

‘I put my hands under his arms and helped ease him out backwards. Then I saw his face and realised who it was

‘He spoke to me. I can’t remember the words, but it was of a person who was obviously in some shock. 

Officers are working out who, if anyone, was to blame for the incident and are likely to interview the Duke of Edinburgh

Officers are working out who, if anyone, was to blame for the incident and are likely to interview the Duke of Edinburgh

Images have emerged of a black Land Rover having rolled on its side following the crash with a people carrier. Police and ambulance rushed to the scene where two people, neither understood to be the prince, were treated for minor injuries 

Images have emerged of a black Land Rover having rolled on its side following the crash with a people carrier. Police and ambulance rushed to the scene where two people, neither understood to be the prince, were treated for minor injuries 

Pictures taken by a passing driver show the Land Rover Freelander 2 on its side as an ambulance races to the scene

Pictures taken by a passing driver show the Land Rover Freelander 2 on its side as an ambulance races to the scene

Prince Philip has been involved in a car crash close to the Sandringham Estate, but is unhurt, says Buckingham Palace

Eyewitness Roy Warne

Prince Philip has been involved in a car crash close to the Sandringham Estate, but is unhurt, says Buckingham Palace, thanks to the efforts of her barrister Roy Warne, who dragged him from the wreckage

It is not clear what direction Philip was trying to go when he crashed yesterday but is said to claim he was blinded by the sun when he pulled out and was struck

Armed police arrived as Philip's new vehicle was checked over and then waved into the Queen's Norfolk estate to replace the old one

Armed police arrived as Philip’s new vehicle was checked over and then waved into the Queen’s Norfolk estate to replace the old one

Philip's new Land Rover already has the Duke's personal number plate on it, proving the new car delivered today is for him

Philip’s new Land Rover already has the Duke’s personal number plate on it, proving the new car delivered today is for him

‘The Duke spoke to my wife and asked how everyone was and whether anyone was hurt. He seemed relived (when he was told that nobody was seriously hurt),

‘He was a very old man and he was obviously very shaken up and he responded as you would imagine the Duke of Edinburgh would.

‘He spoke to my wife and said he was dazzled by the sun. The sun was very, very low. It was almost at horizon level and it was very strong.

How could Prince Philip be punished by police?

Experts have said if the Duke is at fault the most likely offence he has committed is driving without due care and attention – also referred to as careless driving.

The charge covers a multitude of motoring sins, from tailgating to tuning the radio.

Defined in law as ‘allowing the standard of driving to fall below that of a competent and careful driver’.

Aggravating factors include: 

  • Excessive speed or aggressive driving
  • Carrying out other tasks while driving
  • A lack of concentration causing the crash
  • Tiredness or driving whilst unwell
  • Driving contrary to medical advice

The punishment may include an unlimited fine, points on your licence or disqualification from driving.

‘I was wearing sunglasses and where he was coming from he would have been looking straight into the sun. I can understand how it happened.

‘I thought the injuries were going to be extremely serious. It was such a relief that nobody was killed. He is lucky to be alive.’ 

Mr Warne said Philip had been driving out of a side road from the direction of Sandringham House when he pulled out on the A149 road which has a 60mph limit.

He revealed that police arrived on the scene in a different car ‘very quickly’, once he had pulled Philip out.

Mr Warne added: ‘I had his blood on my hands. It wasn’t much and one of the Royal people gave me a wipe.

‘I have read in the press that both of the drivers were breath tested and they were both negative, but I didn’t see it happen.

‘I didn’t hear any discussion about him going to hospital, but I was told he was being taken to Sandringham House for assessment.

Mr Warne said the prince did not thank him for his efforts, but he added: ‘He wasn’t being discourteous. He had other things on his mind for sure.’   

Images emerged of a black Land Rover Freelander 2 – which has a five star NCAP safety rating – having rolled on its side following the crash, where it was ‘t-boned’ by a blue Kia.

At least five police cars and two ambulances went to the scene. 

Paramedics and police parked at the scene while the Prince's Land Rover remains on its side following the crash

Paramedics and police parked at the scene while the Prince’s Land Rover remains on its side following the crash

Paramedics and police parked at the scene while the Prince's Land Rover remains on its side following the crash

Paramedics and police parked at the scene while the Prince’s Land Rover remains on its side following the crash

Mr Warne’s account suggests there was no royal protection officer who with him, although some reports suggests there was one in the car, who was also uninjured. 

Prince Philip has a driving licence – but his wife is the only legal motorist in Britain without one 

The Duke of Edinburgh is from the first generation to need to pass a driving test to obtain a licence. 

He was born on June 10 1921 and compulsory testing for new drivers to obtain a licence was only introduced in Britain on June 1 1935.

This applied to all drivers and riders who started driving on or after April 1 1934 – when Philip was 12. 

Philip lived in both Europe and the UK as a boy, and enrolled at Dartmouth Naval College in 1939.

Buckingham Palace has yet to reveal if and when he took his test, but may have done so as a teenager or while he was in the Armed Forces.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘The Duke has got a driving licence and follows all of the usual DVLA procedures.’ 

But it is still unclear if and when he took his test. 

There is no driving test or medical examination, and it is down to drivers to declare whether or not they are fit to drive.

Applicants are urged to check with their doctor before applying and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) may make further investigations based on the declaration made. 

The only mandatory examination of vision takes place during the practical test, when learners must read a number plate from 20 metres.

Once someone has obtained their licence, it is up to them to tell the DVLA if they have a problem with their eyesight.

Road safety charity Brake has called for a vision test to be required at least every 10 years when drivers renew their licence photocard.

The Queen does not having a driving licence.

She is exempt from the law requiring all other citizens to pass a test and hold a licence if they want to drive.

The monarch learned to drive with the Army in 1945 when she was 19 after she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War. She still drives herself around her estates.

The Duke of Edinburgh and the female driver were breathalysed and both gave negative readings. The crash happened on a stretch of the single carriageway road which has a 60mph limit and is a notorious accident spot. 

Philip’s Land Rover was heading on to the A149 out of a private estate road leading from Sandringham House when he was ‘dazzled by winter sunshine’ and struck by the Kia, which was going south.

The impact on Philip’s driver’s side slipped the car on to the passenger’s side before is spun over and slid across the single carriageway.

After reaching the far edge, it then flipped again 180 degrees onto the driver’s side before coming to a halt.

Mr Warne and other drivers quickly ran to help and were joined by emergency service personnel who helped pull the Duke through the sunroof.

A villager who asked not to be named said: ‘It is an extremely busy road and it is a miracle that he was not hit by another car as well.

‘It could easily have been curtains for him, especially at his age. I guess he survived because he was in a solid Land Rover.’ 

Local driver Natalie Courtney Ely said she had experienced visibility issues on the same stretch of road in the past. ‘I drove past about 10 minutes after it happened,’ she wrote on Facebook. ‘I’m surprised he wasn’t hurt. 

‘On that stretch of road the sunlight was causing major visibility issues for me so I’m sure it was for other drivers too – maybe they should consider that due to this the poor visibility was more of the cause of the collision rather than speed.’ 

Broken glass and pieces of black bumper and blue trim from Philip’s car was left piled up at the side of the road tonight.

A turning off the A149 to the east leads to the village of West Newton, and a private estate road to the west leads past St Felix Chapel, a British Orthodox church. 

Astonishingly, the site is just 30 miles from where the Duke was involved in another crash 23 years ago, which wrote off a Mercedes and injured another motorist.

Witness Nick Cobb arrived at the scene shortly after yesterday’s collision. 

He told BBC News: ‘A couple of cars coming towards us flashed their headlights. The first vehicle we saw was a Sandringham Estate Discovery police car, which is a plain car but with blue flashing lights. 

Prince Philip has been staying with the Queen at Sandringham since Christmas and will be monitored for at least 48 hours

Prince Philip has been staying with the Queen at Sandringham since Christmas and will be monitored for at least 48 hours

‘There was quite a bit of debris on the road so we had to go into the middle of the road and go past slowly. I saw a 4×4 on its side and a car next to it in a hedge. Six or eight ordinary cars all parked round with people helping, then just next to that a normal police car directing traffic.

‘I couldn’t tell you whether [Prince Philip] was in or out of the vehicle that point, I’d say he was in. I didn’t know it was him at the time.’

The Duke is expected to be intensely monitored by medics for the next 48 hours to ensure he has no internal injuries, such as a potentially deadly bleed on the brain. 

Retired Duke remains in robust health – but has struggled with bladder infection and a hip replacement in recent years 

The Duke of Edinburgh continues to remain robust at the age of 97 – but has still faced a handful of health concerns in recent years. 

Prince Philip has been supremely fit since his Navy days and is understood to still walk or take the stairs whenever possible. 

Since his retirement in 2017, Philip has maintained his independence through driving, whether it is a car on the roads around Sandringham, or a carriage through the leafy grounds of Windsor Castle, where he spends the majority of his time.

Indeed the Duke was behind the wheel when his Range Rover collided with another vehicle near Sandringham on Thursday afternoon. 

While there is no suggestion that his health has played any part in the accident, it will no doubt prompt fresh concern surrounding his condition. 

The Duke of Edinburgh has encountered a handful of relatively minor health issues in recent years.

Prince Philip was hospitalised in April last year and forced to undergo hip replacement surgery, although he has been seen carriage driving a number of times since. 

In June 2017 he was admitted at the urging of a doctor after a battle with a bladder infection. 

The condition forced Prince Philip into the hospital twice in 2012, including once after he stood by the Queen’s side for a cold, rain-lashed Thames pageant marking Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. 

It flared up again two months later at Balmoral, necessitating five more days in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.  

Dr Nick Scriven, President of the Society for Acute Medicine, told The Mirror: ‘They will have to keep an eye on him overnight because the risk for this will be over the next 24 to 48 hours. This is not a minor event for a 97-year-old.’

Another woman drove past where the crash happened at around 3.40pm.

‘I saw a black, 4×4 type car on its side and me and my son were like ‘oh my word, that doesn’t look good’.’

‘Luckily it was just sort of on the side of the road, the road wasn’t closed in any way.

‘Obviously it looked quite smashed in. I’m quite amazed he [the duke] is okay actually.’

One man, who gave his name only as George, was driving through Sandringham when he saw a ‘black Land Rover coming up on one of the junctions’. 

‘I saw who it was,’ he told The Times. ‘They often drive round the estate. I followed him up and when I got to the junction the car was on its side.

‘ My interpretation is that it was struck on the side, maybe as he’s pulled out on to the A149. The Duke was there with three or four police officers.’ 

With the Queen’s consort in his 98th year there may be calls from some for the duke to give up driving.

Prince Charles has previously revealed he was ‘always worried’ about his father’s determination to keep on driving into old age. 

In 2014 he met Ivor Thomas, a D-Day veteran, whose 61-year-old son, Philip, told Charles that his father insisted on driving despite being in a wheelchair. 

The Prince replied: ‘So does my father. I’m always worried,’ before gesturing towards Mr Thomas and asking, ‘but his eyesight’s all right?’

Figures show that in 2018, the number of drivers aged over 70 referred by the DVLA for extra testing increased by 20 per cent.

Under UK driving laws, people have to reapply for their licence once they turn 70. After that, they have to submit a new application every three years.

But Edmund King, AA president, said: ‘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 decision to hang up your keys is a tough one but should be based on personal advice from your GP and family, rather than being based on some arbitrary age.’

The Land Rover Freelander 2 that Prince Philip was driving today is pictured here in a photo that was taken in May 2018

The Land Rover Freelander 2 that Prince Philip was driving today is pictured here in a photo that was taken in May 2018

The Archbishop of York tweeted a prayer for Prince Philip following the accident.

He wrote: ‘Almighty God, the Fountain of all Goodness, We humbly beseech thee to bless Philip Duke of Edinburgh. Endow him with thy Holy Spirit; enrich him with thy Heavenly Grace; prosper him with all happiness; and bring him to thine everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’

Local council cuts speed limit on royal smash road on the morning after Duke’s Land Rover crash

Measures to reduce the speed limit and install cameras on the road where the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a car crash were approved this morning.

The meeting of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee took place today in County Hall in Norwich.

The scheme will see the speed limit on the length of the A149 (pictured today) between Knights Hill Roundabout and Snettisham lowered from 60 to 50mph.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Land Rover rolled on this section of the road.

Average speed cameras will be installed to monitor the new speed limit.

Conservative councillor Martin Wilby, who chairs the committee, asked when the safety cameras would be put in place.

Council officer Nick Tupper said: ‘I understand the actual materials have already been procured and subject to this meeting, the work will proceed as soon as possible.’

Commenting on the accident involving Prince Philip, one member said: ‘Hopefully they will all work out okay and we will learn from it.’

Labour councillor Terry Jermy said the numbers of injuries of the road had been ‘highlighted repeatedly over years’.

He added that a paramedic who had recently moved to Norfolk told him that they had never seen so many road accidents until they moved to the county.

Cllr Jermy added: ‘I hope some good may come from it.

‘I would like us to take more of a robust approach in dealing with some of these issues.’

Labour councillor Colleen Walker said: ‘I would like to wish everyone involved in yesterday’s accident a speedy recovery.

‘Yesterday highlighted the plight we have on Norfolk’s roads.’  

He later added: ‘God of Love and Compassion reach out with your Peace to the people who were in the car involved in the traffic accident with Prince Philip’s vehicle. Amen.’

Norfolk Police said officers were called to the A149 at Sandringham just before 3pm on Thursday after a Land Rover and a Kia were involved in a collision.

‘The male driver of the Land Rover was uninjured. The female driver of the Kia suffered cuts while the female passenger sustained an arm injury, both requiring hospital treatment,’ the force said.

‘We can confirm both casualties from the Kia have been treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn and have since been discharged. The road remained open and both vehicles were recovered a short time later.

‘It is force policy to breath test drivers involved in collisions. We can confirm both drivers were breath tested and provided negative readings.’

Buckingham Palace said: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road traffic accident with another vehicle this afternoon.

‘The Duke was not injured. The accident took place close to the Sandringham Estate. Local police attended the scene.’

The spokeswoman would not comment on suggestions Philip was travelling with a passenger, who is likely to have been his close protection officer.

The Prince is known to regularly drive himself around the 20,000-acre estate which has been his main home since his retirement was announced.

He was pictured enjoying a solo spin around Balmoral as recently as September last year.

The Duke has been staying with the Queen at Sandringham since Christmas. 

He retired from public life in August 2017 after completing 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.

Philip has encountered a handful of relatively minor health issues in recent years, including undergoing a hip operation in May 2018 and suffering a bladder infection the year before.

He most recently prompted speculation surrounding his health when he chose not to join the rest of the Royal Family for the traditional Christmas Day church service at Sandringham.

In response a royal source said: ‘The Duke is in perfectly good health, he is just spending the day privately.’

He was last seen at the Queen’s annual festive lunch at Buckingham Palace in December.

In June 2017 he was admitted at the urging of a doctor after a battle with a bladder infection.

The condition forced the Duke into hospital twice in 2012, including once after he stood by the Queen’s side for a cold, rain-lashed Thames pageant marking Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

Philip married Elizabeth in 1947 and has been by his wife’s side throughout her long reign.

Picture shows highway workers clearing up the wreckage following the crash 

Picture shows highway workers clearing up the wreckage following the crash 

Aerial view of the Sandringham Estate surrounded by 20,000 acres of Norfolk parkland 

Aerial view of the Sandringham Estate surrounded by 20,000 acres of Norfolk parkland 

In November 2017 Philip and the Queen marked 70 years of marriage, their platinum anniversary, with a black tie dinner for friends and family at Windsor Castle.

Since his retirement last year, Philip has had more time to enjoy carriage-driving, which has been one of his favourite past-times since the 1970s.

He raced carriages near Norfolk before going on to represent Britain at several world and European championships.

But the Duke has not been immune to other scrapes.

He was involved in a crash which wrote off a Mercedes and injured another motorist 23 years ago – just 30 miles from his latest accident, MailOnline can reveal.    

The collision, which took place on a cold January morning in 1996, has echoes of today’s events in which the Prince was involved in a collision near his Sandringham estate. 

Patrick Daynes, then 48, had been driving through Brandon, Suffolk when – after stopping at a pedestrian crossing – he experienced the Duke’s Range Rover smash into the back of his Mercedes. 

Then in 2010, he injured his ankle when his horse-drawn carriage hit a tree stump on the Windsor Estate.

‘It was a minor injury and he didn’t even go to hospital,’ a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said at the time. ‘He is fine.’

Tonight, Mr Daynes, 71, described the shock incident to MailOnline, saying: ‘The Prince’s Range Rover came into the back of my Mercedes while I was waiting at a pedestrian crossing. 

‘The accident caused considerable damage – I never saw my Mercedes again afterwards.’ 

A female groom who was in the carriage went to hospital with an elbow injury. 

Should Prince Philip still be driving at 97? Palace insist Duke’s licence is up to date after crash sparks criticism about his reactions – but experts rebuff calls for tougher rules on older drivers

Prince Philip’s extraordinary Sandringham car crash has sparked debate over whether at 97 he is now too old to drive.

Norfolk Police is investigating the smash between the Duke of Edinburgh’s Land Rover and a Kia yesterday that left two women injured and a baby miraculously unhurt.

Prince Philip, who was dragged from the wreckage via his sunroof, is recovering today as Buckingham Palace confirmed he has an up to date driving licence renewed every three years since he was 70.

His friend Gyles Brandreth said that Philip is a ‘pragmatist and realist’ who will accept he should stay off the road if his wife the Queen tells him: ‘Old boy, it’s time to hang up the keys and give yourself a break’.

Mr Brandreth added: ‘I’m sure he’ll accept that, while possibly muttering under his breath’.

But with a new 4×4 delivered to the Duke at Sandringham today it suggests he could still resist with experts claiming younger drivers are statistically more likely to crash.

Prince Philip, pictured driving with his wife the Queen, would give up driving if his wife told him to, friends say, but his crash has sparked debate over whether 97 is too old

Prince Philip, pictured driving with his wife the Queen, would give up driving if his wife told him to, friends say, but his crash has sparked debate over whether 97 is too old

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘The duke has got a driving licence and follows all of the usual DVLA procedures.’ 

In Britain people over the age of 70 have to renew their driving licence every three years.

But there is no driving test or medical examination, and it is down to drivers to declare whether or not they are fit to drive and if their eyesight is still good enough.

Road safety charity Brake has called for a vision test to be required at least every 10 years when drivers renew their licence photocard. 

LAND ROVER FREELANDER FACTFILE 

The now discontinued Freelander was given a five-star safety rating when it was crash-tested by independent safety body Euro NCAP.

■ It has seven front and rear safety airbags to protect the driver and passengers, including a driver’s knee airbag.

■ A safety report praised the way its steering column moved forward, creating more space for the driver, when it was tested for a front impact crash.

■ It features a 2.2 litre turbodiesel engine with 148 bhp or 187 bhp. It can come in two-wheel or four-wheel drive options

■ The top of the range HSE LUX version featured Windsor leather seats, Grand Black Lacquer finisher, premium carpet mats and 19-inch diamond turned wheels 

Critics say this system piles the pressure on relatives to convince loved-ones to hand back their keys or go to the DVLA themselves.

Prince Philip is notoriously impatient and does not take kindly to being told what he can and cannot do.

But some commentators speculated that the World War II naval officer might now accept it is time to give up the wheel – as he did with flying in 1997.

Royal biographer Penny Junor told Sky News: ‘It was a horrible thing to happen, but should he be driving?

‘I have no idea who the fault lay with – but he is 97 years old and maybe his reactions are not as fast as they once were.’

Royal biographer Hugo Vickers told BBC News: ‘Any kind of car accident at the age of 97 is likely to produce shock.

‘Some years ago he gave up flying planes long before he needed to because he was scared that if something happened there would be a lot of criticism. So he does listen to these things – he’s very, very sensible’.

The Prince gave up polo at the age of 50 – but switched to another equestrian sport, carriage driving, which he still enjoys – and he also gave up flying planes when he accepted that a crash in later life would lead to a great deal of criticism.

Edmund King, president of The AA motoring association, said new drivers were more prone to accidents than the elderly.

‘If driving restrictions based on age and safety were introduced, we would be more likely to restrict young drivers rather than older drivers,’ he said.

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

Nick Lloyd, acting head of road safety for RoSPA, who used to have Prince Philip as its chairman, said: ‘In the wake of the incident, we have inevitably heard calls for mandatory testing of people of a certain age.

‘This is a red herring – age is a completely arbitrary and unreliable measure for assessing someone’s ability to drive. Statistically, older drivers have fewer accidents than other age groups’.  

Can Prince Philip be forced to give up driving? 70-plus motorists renew their licence every three years – but there is no mandatory testing

What are the rules around older drivers?

When motorists reach the age of 70 in Britain they are required to renew their licence, and must do so every three years thereafter.

There is no driving test or medical examination, and it is down to drivers to declare whether or not they are fit to drive.

Applicants are urged to check with their doctor before applying and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) may make further investigations based on the declaration made.

What about eyesight?

The only mandatory examination of vision takes place during the practical test, when learners must read a number plate from 20 metres.

Once someone has obtained their licence, it is up to them to tell the DVLA if they have a problem with their eyesight.

Road safety charity Brake has called for a vision test to be required at least every 10 years when drivers renew their licence photocard.

Is the duke known to be a keen motorist?

Philip is no stranger to the driving seat, and has previously been seen with very famous passengers in a Range Rover.

He showed former US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle the personal touch when he drove them and the Queen to Windsor Castle after the presidential helicopter Marine One had landed close to the monarch’s Berkshire home during their visit to the UK in April 2016.

The gesture was akin to picking up guests from the airport, although the journey only lasted a few minutes. Mr Obama looked delighted when he discovered Philip would be driving them.

As the Queen and Mrs Obama sat in the rear seats, the duke looked composed at the wheel of the Range Rover as it made its way around the castle’s quadrangle and stopped outside the sovereign’s entrance. 

Are there many people over the age of 90 who still have a driving licence?

Figures from the DVLA in November showed 110,790 people aged 90 or over still held driving licences.

There were 314 licence holders aged at least 100. The oldest were four people who were 107.

– What did the police do after the duke’s accident?

As is force policy, officers from Norfolk Police carried out roadside breath tests on the drivers of both vehicles, which proved negative.

They are now investigating the circumstances.

What advice is there for older people who do give up their driving licence?

Age UK said such a decision can be difficult but that stopping driving does not have to mean the end of independence or mobility.

The charity said on its website: ‘If you’ve decided to stop driving, or been advised to by the DVLA, there are many ways you can get around and there may be help with transport costs.

‘You may feel worried about the costs of giving up driving and having to pay for public transport, but if you add up the amount you spend on car tax, insurance, fuel and maintenance you may find that using alternatives work out to be less expensive than running a car.

‘Most people find adjusting to life without a car is difficult at first. If you’re finding life without a car tough and causing you to feel down, talk to a family member, friend or your GP.’

That was quick! Prince Philip gets new Land Rover delivered less than 24 hours after car crash

Prince Philip’s driving days don’t appear to be numbered just yet after a replacement Land Rover was delivered to him today – less than 24 hours after his horror smash. 

The black Freelander – an exact replica of the one Philip wrote-off yesterday – was driven off the back of a lorry and into Sandringham at around Midday.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 97, who had to be pulled from the wreckage, told police he had been ‘dazzled by the sun’ before the collision near the Norfolk estate at 2.45pm yesterday. 

The Kia that ploughed into him on the 60mph A-road was carrying a nine-month-old baby, its mother, 28, and another woman, 45, who suffered a broken arm and an injured knee, but the child was unhurt. 

Armed Police arrive at Sandringham as a new Freelander - and exact replica of the one Philip crashed - arrives for him

Armed Police arrive at Sandringham as a new Freelander – and exact replica of the one Philip crashed – arrives for him

Experts have suggested he could be prosecuted or be forced to hand back his driving licence, as a row rages over whether he is too old to be on the roads.

Despite this looming threat armed police were on hand as the replacement 4×4 was delivered to Sandringham, where the Duke is now recovering.

The delivery driver backed the Land Rover out of the van, then drove it through the gates of the Sandringham estate.

The Duke was not injured in yesterday’s crash, but doctors are monitoring him. The two people in the other car involved in the crash were taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries and then discharged.

Prince Philips Land Rover was towed away after yesterday’s crash which saw the car overturn and the windscreen smash. 

‘The Queen will be very annoyed’: Her Majesty is only person who can tell Prince Philip, 97, ‘this is enough, you’ve got to stop driving’, says royal biographer Ingrid Seward

The Queen is the only person who can tell Prince Philip to stop driving following his miraculous escape from a road crash, a royal biographer has said.

Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty magazine, said the Queen would be telling her 97-year-old husband ‘this is enough’ following yesterday’s horror collision.

The royal was at the wheel of his Land Rover Freelander when it collided with a Kia car as he pulled out onto a busy A-road near the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

The smash flipped his two-tonne 4×4 over onto its side, splintering the windscreen, after telling police officers that he had been ‘dazzled by the sun’ at a T-junction.

Remarkably, he was said to be uninjured after the incident, however royal watchers now say he will face calls from family members to give up driving as a result.

Scroll down for more video 

Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty magazine, said the Queen would be telling her 97-year-old husband 'this is enough' following yesterday's horror collision

Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty magazine, said the Queen would be telling her 97-year-old husband ‘this is enough’ following yesterday’s horror collision

Philip is believed to have just left Sandringham, circled white, and was turning on to the A149  at this junction when he collided with a Kia

Philip is believed to have just left Sandringham, circled white, and was turning on to the A149  at this junction when he collided with a Kia

Ms Seward, who claims to know several royals personally following a 20-year career covering the household, said Her Majesty will be ‘very annoyed’ with her husband.  

She told Good Morning Britain: ‘I suspect his children and grandchildren will chime in and say ‘look, come on pa, this is enough. We just don’t want to lose you like this’.

‘But it will be the Queen, she’ll be the only person that can really tell him.

‘And I’m sure she’ll be very annoyed with him this morning – obviously sympathetic -but she will be saying ‘now Philip this is enough, you’ve got to stop driving’. 

Why weren’t royal protection officers in the car? Palace faces questions over why Prince Philip was on his own at time of crash – as Princess Diana’s ex-bodyguard claims Duke ‘would often take off without security’

Prince Philip was driving alone with no bodyguard on board when he crashed and the 97-year-old royal is prone to driving off without security to keep his independence, MailOnline can reveal today.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s collision near Sandringham yesterday raises major security concerns and is a breach of protocol, experts have said.

Roy Warne, 75, the man who pulled the Queen’s husband out of his written-off Land Rover, has revealed there was no royal protection officer in the car with Prince Philip when he crashed with a Kia.

It is understood the security team followed in a car behind and arrived ‘very quickly’, but only once Philip had been dragged to safety from his written-off Land Rover.

But outside the gates of their private estates the royal family should always have a bodyguard next to them, Princess Diana’s former security chief Ken Wharfe has said.

Mr Wharfe, who served in the Met for 35 years, told MailOnline Prince Philip has a reputation for giving his police protection officers the runaround and has been known to tell them: ‘I don’t need you – leave me alone’.

Prince Philip has been involved in a car crash close to the Sandringham Estate, but is unhurt, says Buckingham Palace

But outside the gates of private estates the royal family should always have a bodyguard next to them, Princess Diana's former security chief Ken Wharfe has said.

Prince Philip has been involved in a car crash close to the Sandringham Estate but had not bodyguard next to him, which is a breach of protocol according to Princess Diana’s personal protection officer Ken Wharfe

Prince Philip is 'conscious but very shocked and shaken' after a dramatic crash near his Sandringham Estate which left two women in the other vehicle in hospital and the Land Rover he was driving on its side in a crumpled heap (pictured here) 

Prince Philip is ‘conscious but very shocked and shaken’ after a dramatic crash near his Sandringham Estate which left two women in the other vehicle in hospital and the Land Rover he was driving on its side in a crumpled heap (pictured here) 

Ken Wharfe protected Princess Diana for six years (pictured together in 1992) until around four years before her death in 1997

Ken Wharfe protected Princess Diana for six years (pictured together in 1992) until around four years before her death in 1997

He said: ‘The Yard has questions to answer because officers need to be able to stand up to him – I’m convinced that if a PPO was in the Land Rover with him the crash wouldn’t have happened’. 

He added: ‘The Queen may drive alone on the estate from time to time but she would never leave the gates without an officer with her in the car an back up behind.

‘She was be absolutely livid – firstly through concern for her husband and second that there have been two people injured with a baby on board and it could have been much worse’.

Mr Wharfe, a former SAS trained officer who Prince William and Prince Henry affectionately called ‘Uncle Ken’, protected their mother the Princess of Wales from 1987 to 1993.

He told MailOnline today: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh is known to be very difficult when it comes to personal protection officers (PPO), especially in a holiday environment like Sandringham.

‘I know he would say things like ‘I don’t need you, leave me alone, I’m fine on my own’ – and could take off without them. 

‘I suspect he has decided to drive to see a friend off the estate and just left. The security team will have been forced to jump in a car, followed and then be completely horrified as they came across the crash.

’99 times out of 100 nothing would happen of he went on his own – but when it does go wrong it’s often a complete disaster, as proved here’. 

Mr Wharfe said previously senior royals each had their own personal protection units.

BGut this has been changed to a rota system where officers are allocated to different members of the royal family.

He said: ‘In the past you would have officers with decades of experience who would know how to deal with the Duke and convince him they should be with him when he drives. That’s all gone’. 

Princess Anne tells reporters she ‘has no idea’ how Prince Philip is doing in wake of his car crash – as she staves off questions about her father during a visit to Lancashire

It was business as usual for Princess Anne on Friday as she got back to work following her father’s car crash.

The Princess Royal, 68, was at Edge Hill University, Lancashire this morning just hours after the Duke of Edinburgh crashed his Land Rover near Sandringham on Thursday afternoon.

When asked by reporters how the elderly royal was faring, straight-talking Anne laughingly replied:  ‘I’ve no idea. You know where I am? Same place as you’.

The exchange, which was overheard by the BBC’s Allie Hodgkins-Brown, will come as a relief to well-wishers hoping for an update on Philip’s condition. 

Princess Anne (pictured on an overseas tour in November 2018) has said she has 'no idea' how her father is doing following her car crash on Thursday afternoon. The exchange, which took place in Lancashire this morning, will no doubt come as a relief to well-wishers

Princess Anne (pictured on an overseas tour in November 2018) has said she has ‘no idea’ how her father is doing following her car crash on Thursday afternoon. The exchange, which took place in Lancashire this morning, will no doubt come as a relief to well-wishers

The Duke was said to be ‘conscious but very shocked and shaken’ after his Land Rover collided with a Kia carrying a ten-month-old baby, its mother, 28, and another woman, 45, who suffered a broken arm and an injured knee.

Barrister Roy Warne pulled Prince Philip, 97, from the wreckage of his Land Rover and said the royal told officers he had been ‘dazzled by the sun’ before the collision near the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk at 2.45pm yesterday.

Philip was pulling out of a driveway onto the A149 in Babingley, Norfolk which leads to Sandringham, when the collision took place. 

He is believed to have pulled out of a side-road, coming from Sandringham House, on to the busy A149 where the Kia, travelling at up to 60mph, struck his side of the 4X4 in a so-called ‘t-bone’ smash. 

The Princess Royal was forced to pull out of an earlier engagement on Friday morning due to ‘averse weather conditions’. 

Princess Anne (pictured at a memorial service for the 25th anniversary of a bombing by the IRA in Warrington town centre, Cheshire) was recently named as the hardest working royal 

Princess Anne (pictured at a memorial service for the 25th anniversary of a bombing by the IRA in Warrington town centre, Cheshire) was recently named as the hardest working royal 

Britain’s ‘hardest-working royal’, who carried out 518 engagements in 2018, had been due to visit the Parbold Equestrian Centre in Parbold.

Princess Anne, who lives with her husband Sir Timothy Laurence at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire, has been named the hardest working royal each year since 2015.

Last year, her engagements included visiting Chile for the 200th Anniversary of the navy earlier this month and observing the annual census of the swan population on the River Thames in July.

Princess Anne also opened many buildings this year including the Lister Learning and Teaching Centre in Edinburgh in October.

RICHARD KAY: There’s only one person who can tell Prince Philip to stop driving… but will the Queen dare?

Somehow it was typical of Prince Philip yesterday not to wait for paramedics after clambering from his overturned car. Instead, it was only when he was back at Sandringham that he was examined by a doctor.

According to official bulletins from Buckingham Palace, he was not hurt in the accident, which happened on a road bisecting the Norfolk estate.

But eyewitnesses reported that he was ‘very, very shocked’ and shaken.

That he seemingly escaped uninjured will naturally be a source of great relief not just for the Queen and the Royal Family but for the country, too.

The Duke of Edinburgh driving around the Royal Windsor Horse Show after his hip operation in May last year

The Duke of Edinburgh driving around the Royal Windsor Horse Show after his hip operation in May last year

Pictures taken by a passing driver show Prince Philip's Land Rover Freelander 2 on its side as an ambulance races to the scene

Pictures taken by a passing driver show Prince Philip’s Land Rover Freelander 2 on its side as an ambulance races to the scene

Prince Philip driving a Land Rover through the Balmoral Estate in Scotland in September 2018

Prince Philip driving a Land Rover through the Balmoral Estate in Scotland in September 2018

Once again, he appears simply indestructible. Nothing it seems can dent his durability or his indomitable spirit.

But now questions will inevitably be asked about the wisdom of a man of 97, however proud and physically robust, taking the wheel of a powerful car.

Philip must have nine lives, admirers joke 

Once it was confirmed that the Duke of Edinburgh was alive and well, it didn’t take long for admirers to crack jokes on social media.

Highlights from Twitter include Danny Murphy, who remarked: ‘Prince Philip can’t be killed!’

Kevin Anthony Carney shared similar suspicions, joking: ‘When the world ends, all that will be left are cockroaches and Prince Philip.’

Matt Hopkins spoke for many when he said: ‘Every time I see his name trending on Twitter, I expect the worst. Some say cats have nine lives. Prince Philip must have many, many more.’ Nearby resident John Doyle said: ‘I drive along that road often – I’ll wait until he’s back in London before I do it again. Has he lost his bus pass?’

Others praised the duke for taking our minds off the political turmoil.

Ally Simpson quipped: ‘Do you think maybe Prince Philip had enough of all the Brexit talk and rolled his Range Rover on purpose?’

Meanwhile, John Street suggested Prince Philip was in a rush, asking: ‘Was it an escape attempt?’

Philip’s obstinacy is famously matched only by his boldness. This, remember, is a man who still enjoys the thrills of hurtling around a carriage-driving course decades after most of his contemporaries retired.

He has always held strong views on the nature of risk, and is certainly not foolhardy. But this accident poses questions not just about the Duke of Edinburgh’s welfare, but what he represents for other road-users.

In short, is the Prince now at an age where he could be considered a danger to motorists?

However good a driver he is — and one of his former bodyguards tells me he always considered him among the safest and most responsible royals to get behind the wheel — it is demonstrably true that as we age, our reaction speed diminishes. Our hearing, too, is not as pin-sharp, and the eyesight starts to fade.

And little more than six months short of his 98th birthday, Philip must be one of the oldest motorists in the country.

There comes a time in most people’s lives when the responsibility of age should make them take a long, hard look in the mirror, for the sake not just of themselves but of others, too.

Two years ago, Philip did just that when he decided he wished to stand down from official life. Now, surely, he must consider taking another step to accommodate the march of time.

The fact is he does not even need to drive. He has the round-the-clock presence of police bodyguards and access to any of the royal chauffeurs. Or, if that doesn’t suit, one of his valets or even a friend could assume the duty of driver.

The problem, of course — as all those who know the Prince will testify — is his sheer bloody-mindedness. Indeed, the fact that he escaped yesterday’s scare in his two-ton Land Rover Freelander might, if anything, embolden him to keep driving.

So if Philip himself will not surrender his driving duties, who can possibly tell him to stop? No courtier, however bold, would dare. The answer can only be the Queen. Were she to do so, then Philip, who has spent every minute of their 71 years of marriage obeying his wife, would surely agree.

Of course, that, too, throws up an intriguing possibility as to whether the Queen would actually press her husband to pursue a course he manifestly doesn’t want to.

‘The reason their relationship has worked so well for so many years is that neither has forced the other to do something,’ says a former lady-in-waiting.

For decades, Philip has put duty first, whatever the cost. During the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it meant shivering without a coat in the rain for four hours during the Thames river pageant. It was Philip, a brave young wartime naval officer, who particularly wanted a waterborne tribute to his wife of 64 years, and the Queen was happy to do it his way.

It must have occurred to palace advisers that for this couple of such great age to spend the entire time on their feet was at least unwise and at worst, foolish. But Prince Philip is stubborn, and while fit young people all around this upright, elderly man wilted in the long hours of a wet and chilly afternoon on the river, he stuck to the business at hand.

The upshot was an infection and a stay in hospital.

It was partly because of that experience that the prince decided to retire. ‘The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,’ he laughingly told one retainer at the time.

But Philip was never going to adapt to the standard format of retirement. He likes his independence too much for that. And nothing illustrates that independence more than the freedom of the open road.

Both he and the Queen adore the chance to get behind the wheel whenever they are on the three big royal estates — Windsor, Balmoral and Sandringham.

Philip’s only concession is to use his seatbelt — which mercifully he must have had on yesterday. The Queen, on the other hand, often motors about the private roads on the estate without buckling up — as she is quite entitled to do.

For Philip, the car represents an escape from the formalities of royal life. In the early days of his marriage, he liked nothing more than to speed off in his two-seater sports car.

Since retiring, he likes to potter around in one of the estate cars. And if he can do so on his own, so much the better.

Just before Christmas he drove himself to the Sandringham sawmill, where estate Christmas trees are sold to locals. And a few days before that, while still at Windsor Castle, he was seen driving on the estate’s back roads.

The scene near to the Sandringham Estate where the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road accident while driving

The scene near to the Sandringham Estate where the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road accident while driving

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are driven by Prince Philip, along with the Queen at Sandringham in April 2016

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are driven by Prince Philip, along with the Queen at Sandringham in April 2016

His view is uncompromising — as long as he is in good health, physically and mentally, he sees no reason to stop driving.

As his former bodyguard says with considerable understatement: ‘He is prone to being very independent. He would often try to drive off without one of us in the passenger seat, it was something of a game. That was all right on the estate, but we weren’t too happy if he tried to go further afield.’

He is a mixture of robust common sense and impetuousness, a man who tends to laugh off concerns about his safety while haring across the countryside with reins in hand, for example.

After a driving career almost eight decades long, Philip has inevitably had the odd prang.

Twenty-three years ago, he was involved in a minor shunt while driving in Brandon, Suffolk, after apparently colliding with the back of a Mercedes.

Neither he nor the other driver were hurt, and there were no court proceedings.

Yesterday’s accident was clearly of a more serious nature. But will it lead to a royal change of mind?

For Philip, the motor car has been an essential part of his life.

His very first car was a 1935 Standard which ended up in a private collection in Sri Lanka.

He never forgot it, and during a visit to the country in 1956 he tracked it down.

Despite being remarkably fit for a man barely two years away from his century, the Prince is not as mobile as he once was.

Even so he can — and often does — walk to the stables at Windsor, where carriage-driving ponies are housed.

At Sandringham, where he often spends time at Wood Farm, there is little need for a car.

Since the New Year, Philip and the Queen have been together at Sandringham — she is due back in London after observing the anniversary of her father King George VI’s death (and her accession to the throne) on February 6.

Philip may return with her, or more likely remain in Norfolk a little longer.

The night before the accident, the couple gave a party for estate workers and today they will be hosting a group of Prince Andrew’s friends, who are arriving for a shooting weekend.

Normally, Philip would get behind the wheel to follow the guns during the course of the shoot.

After yesterday the question is, will he? Or will the accident mean that Philip sacrifices one of his last remaining indulgences? Having escaped serious injury, his family — and the nation — will be wishing that he does. 

Dangers of older drivers getting behind the wheel: As Philip crashes, figures show the number of over 70s sent for extra testing has risen by a fifth

By James Salmon, Transport Editor for the Daily Mail  

The Duke of Edinburgh’s crash at the age of 97 will spark fresh debate about the safety of older drivers on Britain’s roads.

More than five million motorists aged over 70 hold a driving licence, official figures show.

And more than 100,000 over-90s are still allowed to drive.

There are even 265 centenarians who hold a valid licence – with the oldest four all aged 104.

But last year the number of drivers aged over 70 referred by the DVLA for extra testing increased by 20 per cent, from 4,424 to 5,500.

Motoring groups have resisted calls for restrictions or bans on older drivers, pointing out they have fewer accidents than young people who have recently passed their test. This is reflected in their lower insurance premiums.

Figures show that in the past year, the number of drivers aged over 70 referred by the DVLA for extra testing has increased by 20 per cent, from 4,424 to 5,500. File photo

Figures show that in the past year, the number of drivers aged over 70 referred by the DVLA for extra testing has increased by 20 per cent, from 4,424 to 5,500. File photo

But police and safety campaigners have raised concerns that some older drivers are in no fit state to get behind the wheel.

Key worries are failing eyesight, slower reaction times and conditions such as dementia.

Motorists over 70 must complete a self-assessment every three years and declare they are in good enough shape to continue driving. This involves simply filling in a form and there is no requirement to take a formal test or medical examination. However, they must tell the DVLA if they develop a medical condition, such as Parkinson’s or epilepsy, that could affect their driving.

The DVLA can then arrange for a doctor to examine the driver, and will in some cases ask them to take a driving or eyesight test.

Depending on the outcome, they may be told to adapt their car to take account of their disability, issued with a licence for one, two or three years with their ability to drive reviewed after that – or ordered off the roads immediately.

Under guidance issued by the General Medical Council, GPs are obliged to alert the DVLA if they believe their patients are unfit to drive, but should try to persuade them to report themselves first.

Opticians have estimated there are around one million people of all ages with poor eyesight driving illegally on Britain’s roads.

They have called for drivers to be required to take a comprehensive vision check to prove they meet the legal standard when they first apply for a licence and every ten years after that.

Campaigners have also called for a so-called Poppy’s Law, making it a legal requirement for medical professionals to report patients who are unfit to drive.

This followed the death of three-year-old Poppy-Arabella Clarke, who was killed in 2016 by a motorist aged 73 who had ignored opticians’ warnings not to drive and was not wearing his glasses.

Police in Essex also raised the alarm after a surge in accidents involving drivers aged over 70. Between 2014 and 2016, motorists in this category were involved in 12 per cent of accidents in the county where somebody was killed or seriously hurt – despite accounting for only 7 per cent of the total miles driven.

Last night AA president Edmund King said imposing more restrictions – or even bans – on elderly drivers would not be the right move.

‘If driving restrictions based on age and safety were introduced we would be more likely to restrict young drivers,’ he said. ‘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.

‘The decision to hang up your keys is a tough one but should be based on personal advice from your GP and family rather than being based on some arbitrary age. We all age differently and the car is an essential lifeline for many elderly people.’

 

How a Range Rover driven by the Duke of Edinburgh was sold in 2017 

Then US President Barack Obama travelled in Prince Philip´s Range Rover alongside the Queen and Michelle Obama

Then US President Barack Obama travelled in Prince Philip´s Range Rover alongside the Queen and Michelle Obama

A Range Rover driven by the Duke of Edinburgh as he picked up Barack Obama during a visit by the then US president to the UK was sold in 2018.

The car featured during the 2016 presidential visit, and hosted then first lady Michelle Obama alongside the Queen in the back seats.

Philip showed the US leader and his wife the personal touch when he drove them and his own wife to Windsor Castle after the Marine One presidential helicopter had landed close to the Queen’s Berkshire home.

The gesture was akin to picking up guests from the airport although the journey only lasted a few minutes, but Mr Obama looked delighted when he discovered Philip would be driving them.

Land Rover themselves kitted out the top-spec Autobiography Range Rover at their HQ at Gaydon, Warwickshire with several adjustments for its royal owner.

Police lighting was installed as well as unique fixed side steps, which have not been approved for public use.

Additional grab handles were also installed from new to help the Queen to access the 4×4, and the rear TV screens were removed – although they were subsequently reinstalled.

The duke may have been approaching his 95th birthday at the time but he looked composed at the wheel of the Range Rover as it made its way around the castle’s quadrangle and stopped outside the sovereign’s entrance.

The vehicle, which was used by the Royal Household for two years, was priced at £129,850 with a low mileage of 3,200. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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