UK police speak to Prince Philip about not wearing seatbelt
LONDON (AP) — British police have spoken with Prince Philip after the husband of Queen Elizabeth II was photographed apparently driving without wearing a seatbelt — just two days after he was involved in a serious car crash.
British media on Saturday published a photograph showing the 97-year-old royal driving a new Land Rover near the royal residence at Sandringham in eastern England.
Norfolk Police said “suitable words of advice have been given to the driver.”
Police said the advice given to Philip was “in line with our standard response when being made aware of such images showing this type of offense.”
Buckingham Palace didn’t comment on the images.
Philip was driving another Land Rover when he was involved in a violent collision on Thursday in which two women in a Kia car were injured. A 9-month-old baby boy in the Kia was unhurt. Philip had to be helped out of his overturned vehicle but wasn’t injured.
The palace said Friday that Philip and the queen had privately contacted the other people in the crash and exchanged good wishes.
But Emma Fairweather, who broke her wrist in the collision, told the Sunday Mirror newspaper that she had not heard from the palace.
“I still haven’t had any contact from the royal household,” she said. “Maybe he should prioritize that over test driving his new car.”
The 46-year-old said “it would mean the world to me” if Philip offered an apology.
Police haven’t disclosed who was at fault for the crash, which happened after Philip drove onto a main road from a side road near the royal family’s Sandringham estate, 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of London.
The queen and Philip have been on an extended Christmas break in Sandringham, their holiday tradition for many years.
Philip has been in generally good health and was photographed in December driving a horse-drawn carriage. He has largely retired from public life but still is occasionally seen at family occasions with the queen.
The accident — and Philip’s subsequent driving apparently without using a seatbelt — is raising questions about his continued use of public roadways.
Buckingham Palace says Philip has a valid driver’s license. There is no upper age limit for licensing drivers in Britain, although drivers over 70 are required to renew their licenses every three years and tell authorities about any medical conditions that might raise safety issues.
Philip passed a vision test Saturday as part of the investigation into the accident.