After much speculation about the fate of Prince Philip’s driving status, it’s official: Prince Philip has given up his driver’s license. In a statement, the palace said: “After careful consideration the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license.” Prince Philip will now have a driver, reports, BBC.
Prince Philip’s car crash
This announcement comes just weeks after Queen Elizabeth’s husband was in a car crash on January 17, 2019 while spending time at the royal family’s Sandringham Estate. Although he did not sustain any injuries, the crash was so bad that Prince Philip’s Range Rover was overturned. He was left “shocked and shaken” after the accident, reports The Telegraph. A bystander helped pull Prince Philip from his car, and he was slightly bleeding, reports CBS This Morning.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson assured the public Prince Philip was OK after the crash: “The Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road traffic accident with another vehicle this afternoon. The Duke was not injured. He saw a doctor as a precaution and the doctor confirmed he was not injured.”
Prince Philip has been described as fiercely independent
Roya Nikkah, a CBS This Morning royal correspondent, says Prince Philip has been determined to remain independent. However, many people were surprised that he was still driving. “Prince Philip is, as we know, a very determined, headstrong, individual who has wanted to retain a sense of independence right up until the age of 97. This is also a man who served in the Navy, who served in the second World War, and a man who has seen action. He’s been very active a lot of his life.”
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth
Prince Philip has been known to take risks. During his early years, before they were married, Prince Philip drove around town with Queen Elizabeth in his MG sports car. He was known to drive fast. In a letter written by Queen Elizabeth, she talks about how she and Prince Philip were chased by paparazzi in his sports car in the streets of London during their courtship, reports The Telegraph:
Philip enjoys driving and does it fast! He has his own tiny MG which he is very proud of – he has taken me about in it, once up to London, which was great fun, only it was like sitting on the road, and the wheels are almost as high as one’s head. On that one and only occasion we were chased by a photographer which was disappointing.
Throughout the years, he has driven race cars, convertibles, tanks, and a British double-decker bus. He has also driven a horse-drawn carriage around his royal estates.
Prince Philip’s car accidents
Prince Philip has gotten into trouble behind the wheel before. In August 1947, three months before his wedding, Prince Philip crashed into a tree, causing damage to a fence and his car, while twisting his knee, reports The Mirror. Some time later, he reportedly side-swiped a taxi, with Queen Elizabeth (then Princess Elizabeth) in the car.
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