2019 Prince Philip Road Accident and Licence Surrender

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Land Rover Freelander, similar to that driven by Prince Philip
Kia Carens, similar to the second car involved

On 17 January 2019, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, aged 97, was involved in a two-car accident whilst driving his Land Rover Freelander, near the Sandringham Estate, Norfolk, England. The accident occurred when he drove out onto the A149 from a minor road. An official statement said that he was uninjured. Philip subsequently surrendered his driving licence.


The Land Rover, driven by Philip, was pulling out of a B-road at the time of the crash and reportedly did not stop at the junction. The Land Rover was hit, on the passenger side, and flipped multiple times before coming to a rest on its right side.[1][2][3] The other car was a Kia Carens[4] No royal bodyguard accompanied Philip at the time of the crash.[5] Philip claimed he was dazzled by the sun but the occupant of the other car reported that the sky was overcast.[6]

An eyewitness, who came to the prince's aid, described having to wipe blood off his hands.[7] A nine-month-old child, who was traveling in the Kia, was not injured. Philip's right trapped leg was freed and he was helped out of the vehicle theorugh the sunroof.[8] He was tested for drink driving and not found to have blood alcohol. He was taken to hospital as a precaution and was later discharged.

The driver and a 49-year-old passenger, Emma Fairweather,[6] of the other car were injured and taken to hospital, with Fairweather sustaining a wrist fracture which required casting.[9] The driver sustained a knee injury.[10] The passenger was reported to have criminal charges brought against Philip.[10] The driver was tested for blood alcohol and found to have none present.


Philip was later photographed driving near Sandringham Estate two days after the collision without a safety belt[11] leading to the police giving him a verbal warning.[12] Philip had a replacement Land Rover Freelander delivered to Sandringham the next day.

The prince's Land Rover was overturned, scattering debris on the road. This debris was collected and offered for sale on eBay[13] before the advertisement was removed by eBay, citing a restriction of profiting from human misery. Bidding had reached £65,900 after 139 bids with proceeds going to Cancer Research UK.[13]

Philip had been in a collision in June 1964[14] when he reportedly drove a car into another. The driver of the other car was later interviewed on film.[15]

Anne, Princess Royal, when interviewed later, remarked that she was unaware of her father's condition, adopting a position which was judged to be "cold and miserable".[16][17] Philip was examined in hospital the day following the collision and reported to have "no injuries of concern"[18]

The collision sparked public debate on the safety of elderly drivers.[19][20][21]


On 27 January it was reported that Philip has sent a letter to Fairweather with "a touching apology". According to the Sunday Mirror, the letter 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."[22][23][24]

Initially, there were reports that no apology was given to the victims by Philip.[25][26] This led some news editorials to question whether the apology, written ten days after the collision, was too late.[27][28]

Surrender of driving licence

On 9 February 2019, Philip surrendered his driving license to the Norfolk Constabulary, who would be sending it to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. The Crown Prosecution Service received the investigative file of the collision.[29][30] The police were considering whether there was enough evidence to charge him with careless driving.[31] Surrender of licence may be taken into account on a decision of whether or not to prosecute.[no citations needed here]


  1. Ellen Whinnett (21 January 2019). "Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, involved in car crash near Sandringham Estate". https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/royals/prince-philip-duke-of-edinburgh-involved-in-car-crash-near-sandringham-estate/news-story/ad6af58d24298e2b18c74f76db5845a3. Retrieved 25 January 2019. 
  2. "Prince Philip unhurt in crash while driving". January 17, 2019. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46912691. 
  3. Hannah Furness and Robert Mendick (18 January 2019). "Picture exclusive: Prince Philip 'very shocked and shaken' after car crash near Sandringham Estate". The Telegraph. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2019/01/17/prince-philip-car-crash-near-sandringham/. 
  4. Wiseman, Ed (January 18, 2019). "Kia Carens versus Royal Freelander â€" why what you're driving matters in a crashÂ". https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/advice/kia-carens-versus-royal-freelander-driving-matters-crash/. 
  5. Simon Perry and Stephanie Petit (22 January 2019). "Prince Philip Driving Solo 'Is Crazy,' Says Former Palace Bodyguard". https://people.com/royals/prince-philip-driving-solo-is-crazy-says-former-palace-bodyguard/. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Prince Philip car crash victim says he hasn't apologized". https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2019/01/21/prince-philip-car-crash-victim-says-he-hasnt-apologized/2637581002/. Retrieved 25 January 2019. 
  7. Hannah Furness (18 January 2019). "Prince Philip crash: Duke 'asked if everyone else was alright' after car 'tumbled' across road leaving him bleeding". https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2019/01/18/road-prince-philip-crashed-expected-have-speed-limit-reduced/. Retrieved 18 January 2019. 
  8. Enda Mullen (18 January 2019). "Was Prince Philip's life saved by a Coventry-made Jaguar Land Rover vehicle?". https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/local-news/prince-philip-crash-land-rover-15697987. 
  9. Haroon Siddique (20 January 2019). "Prince Philip has not said sorry for car crash, injured woman claims". https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/20/prince-philip-has-not-said-sorry-for-car-crash-injured-woman-claims. Retrieved 20 January 2019. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Prince Philip: Woman wants Duke charged over car crash". https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/royals/woman-wants-prince-philip-charged-over-car-crash/news-story/6d9b803c0454c6a651fce2e5fc97ae0e. Retrieved 25 January 2019. 
  11. "Prince Philip's crash: Speed camera delay on crash road". https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-46988143. Retrieved 25 January 2019. 
  12. "Prince Philip seen driving without seatbelt after crash - CNN Video". https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2019/01/20/prince-philip-car-crash-seat-belt-advised-vpx.cnn. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "'Prince Philip crash debris' on eBay". January 21, 2019. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-46944912. 
  14. Davies, Caroline (January 24, 2019). "Footage reveals Prince Philip had crash in 1964 while driving Queen". https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/24/footage-reveals-prince-philip-had-crash-in-1964-while-driving-queen. 
  15. "Newly uncovered archive emerges of crash involving the Duke of Edinburgh in 1964 - ITV News". https://www.itv.com/news/2019-01-24/newly-uncovered-archive-of-crash-involving-the-duke-of-edinburgh-in-1964-emerges/. Retrieved 25 January 2019. 
  16. "Princess Anne snaps over Prince Philip car crash question". https://www.newidea.com.au/princess-anne-royal-feud-prince-philip. 
  17. "www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/princess-anne-gets-savage-about-prince-philips-car-accident/". https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/princess-anne-gets-savage-about-prince-philips-car-accident/. Retrieved 25 January 2019. 
  18. http://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2019/01/19/no-injuries-of-concern-for-prince-philip-97-after-car-crash.html
  19. "Car crash involving Britain's Prince Philip, 97, casts spotlight on driving age limit". https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/britain-prince-philip-car-crash-spotlight-on-driving-age-limit-11141358. Retrieved 25 January 2019. 
  20. "Witness to 'horrendous' Prince Philip crash says it's 'amazing' there were no serious injuries". https://www.thejournal.ie/prince-philip-crash-2-4448153-Jan2019/. Retrieved 25 January 2019. 
  21. Post, The Jakarta. "'No injuries of concern' for Prince Philip, 97, after car crash". https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2019/01/19/no-injuries-of-concern-for-prince-philip-97-after-car-crash.html. Retrieved 28 January 2019. 
  22. "Prince Philip sends car crash victim touching letter of apology". 27 January 2019. https://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/2019012767090/prince-philip-car-crash-victims-touching-letter-apology/. Retrieved 28 January 2019. 
  23. CNN, Rob Picheta. "Prince Philip car crash: Duke sends apology letter to woman left with broken arm". https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/27/uk/prince-philip-car-accident-apology-gbr-intl/index.html. Retrieved 28 January 2019. 
  24. Myers, Amy Sharpe, Geraldine McKelvie and Russell (27 January 2019). "Prince Philip crash: Duke writes to injured woman ‘I am very contrite’ - LETTER IN FULL". https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/1078324/Prince-Philip-crash-royal-news-duke-of-edinburgh-letter. Retrieved 28 January 2019. 
  25. Association, Press; Bentley, David (20 January 2019). "Mum hurt in Prince Philip crash has had no apology from royals". https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/uk-news/mum-hurt-prince-philip-car-15705020. Retrieved 28 January 2019. 
  26. "Mum injured in Prince Philip crash: I haven’t even got an apology". 20 January 2019. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/mum-injured-in-prince-philip-crash-i-haven-t-even-got-an-apology-a4043831.html. Retrieved 28 January 2019. 
  27. "Prince Philip's belated apology". 28 January 2019. https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/royal-family/prince-philips-belated-apology-bc-5995212319001. Retrieved 28 January 2019. 
  28. "Royal historian defends Prince Philip's apology letter after crash". 28 January 2019. https://newsdaily.today/royal-historian-defends-prince-philips-apology-letter-after-crash/. Retrieved 28 January 2019. 
  29. "Prince Philip, 97, gives up driving licence". 9 February 2019. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47186875. Retrieved 9 February 2019. 
  30. "Prince Philip surrenders driver's license weeks after car accident". https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/prince-philip-surrenders-driver-s-license-weeks-after-car-accident-n969706. Retrieved 9 February 2019. 
  31. Lin Jenkins (9 February 2019). "Prince Philip gives up driving licence three weeks after car crash". https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/feb/09/prince-philip-surrenders-his-driving-licence. Retrieved 9 February 2019.