Why Queen Elizabeth II Is Giving Up Driving But Only On Certain Roads

Following Prince Philip’s car crash in January, there’s been a debate about whether the queen’s husband should have been driving at all at the age of 97. Well now Her Majesty, who is also in her ’90s, has decided to give up driving but not entirely.

Here’s more on where Queen Elizabeth II will and won’t be able to get behind the wheel and the answer to whether or not Philip still drives today.

Queen Elizabeth II driving
Queen Elizabeth II driving | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Why and where the queen will stop driving

The queen turns 93 on April 12 and just ahead of her birthday the palace has announced that she will stop driving, well in most places.

Although Her Majesty has always had plenty of drivers she could have chauffeur her around at any time she has continued to drive herself for many years. After the duke’s accident a few months back though she has been advised to give it up and will no longer drive on any public streets.

The Sunday Times reported that Queen Elizabeth has “agreed to give up driving on public roads on the advice of her security team after the Duke of Edinburgh’s car crash earlier this year. The monarch will be chauffeured on public roads.”

However, just because she’s giving up operating a vehicle on public roadways doesn’t mean she’s giving up driving altogether. Writer Roya Nikkhah noted that “it is thought the queen may continue to drive on private roads.” 

A palace source also said that will be the case and told Us Weekly that she’ll “only drive on private property moving forward.”

Does Prince Philip still drive?

Prince Philip driving
Prince Philip driving | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

On Jan. 17, 2019, Prince Philip was behind the wheel of his Land Rover near the royal family’s Sandringham estate when he was involved in a collision with another vehicle. Philip’s SUV rolled over on its side from the impact but he was not injured.

As for the driver of the other car, she suffered some cuts and bruises while her passenger sustained a broken wrist. The two women were also traveling with a 9-month-old baby in the backseat, however, the child was not hurt.

In the days following the crash, Philip penned an apology to the passenger of the other car, Emma Fairweather. In his hand-written letter the prince expressed how “sorry” he was for the accident and stated that he was “relieved” that her injuries weren’t more serious.

He also took responsibility for what happened writing, “I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.”

In February, Buckingham Palace noted that the duke had given up his license.

“After careful consideration, the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license,” a statement from the palace read. However, like his wife, Prince Philip is still permitted to drive on royal estates.

Read more: Is Queen Elizabeth II a Nice Person?

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