Prince Philip (97) will be giving up his driving license. Buckingham Palace announced his decision last weekend, stating, "After careful consideration The Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence".
The Duke of Edinburgh was driving his Land Rover Freelander last month when he collided with a Kia. Luckily, Prince Philip was unharmed in the crash, even though his Freelander was overturned. The Kia's passenger Emma Fairweather broke her wrist. According to the BBC's royal correspondent Johnny Dymond, the Duke himself decided to give up his license, having "acknowledged that the collision last month was his fault". The criticism levelled at the Prince Philip for driving just two days after the crash without wearing a seatbelt was difficult for the royal to deal with.
Prince Philip Apologises for Car Crash
Driving conditions were not good at the time of the Duke's accident. Prince Philip wrote a letter of apology to Emma Fairweather and the driver of the Kia, which read: "I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads... 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".
Her Majesty's husband was very happy to receive so many messages from well-wishers after the accident and expressed his thanks in a letter written by his correspondence secretary, Suzy Lethbridge. "The Duke of Edinburgh thanks you for your kind message of good wishes following the recent accident near Sandringham. It was a shock for all concerned. The Norfolk emergency services were quick to respond and assist those involved. Prince Philip is grateful to you for taking the trouble to write".
Did Age Play a Role in Prince Philip's Accident?
The case has now been handed over to the Crown Prosecution Service and it remains to be seen who, if anyone, was at fault for last month's collision. If the sun was indeed low, the Duke of Edinburgh's age would have played no role in the circumstances of the collision and it seems a shame that he has had to give up his driving license. Whilst keeping Britain's roads safe is paramount, simply forcing drivers to give up licenses due to advanced age is irresponsible, as many older citizens rely on their cars to get around and carry out everyday tasks, not to mention ageist.