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Who would be able to stop Prince Philip driving again?

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As I saw the pictures of the Queen arriving at church near Sandringham this morning I did wonder if she’d had time to read all the Sunday papers before heading out. 

If she hasn’t then her private secretaries and press teams will have done, and realised it doesn’t look good.

The Duke of Edinburgh spotted out driving, without anyone else in the car, just 48 hours after he flipped his Land Rover on a busy road near the Sandringham estate.

It does make you wonder, has anyone had a word with him? But more appropriately we should probably be asking, is there anyone this proud 97-year-old will actually listen to?

The Duke of Edinburgh driving his Land Rover Freelander on the Sandringham Estate Norfolk 2 days after his crash.
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The Duke of Edinburgh driving his Land Rover Freelander two days after his crash

On Thursday after the crash I think most people were worried about Prince Philip. The pictures of the crash looked horrific, and it seemed miraculous that both him and the two women and baby in the other car weren’t more badly hurt.

Even if he wasn’t injured, surely he must still be processing the shock of it all? So it was surprising on Friday, only 24 hours after the accident, to see a replacement Land Rover being delivered to Sandringham House.

From a PR perspective it looked bad. What looks even worse are the photos of him back on the road yesterday driving without a seatbelt.



Roy Warne




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Video:
‘I got Philip out of car wreckage’

I’m not sure I’d feel up to driving so soon after a crash like that. The fact Prince Philip felt confident enough to get back behind the wheel says a lot about him.

He is part of that no nonsense post-war generation, a man who knows his own mind and has lived a life of people trying to tell him what to do and ignoring them.

But unfortunately it also looked arrogant and ill thought out. His palace advisers and police protection officers will know this. Whether he’d listen to any of them is unlikely.

Claims from the passenger in the other car that the duke hasn’t apologised will also make for uncomfortable reading.

The palace tell me that a full message of support was sent to both the driver and the passenger.

The queen attending church on Sunday
Image:
The queen attending church on Sunday
Prince Philip drives Range Rover in 2016
Image:
Prince Philip drives Range Rover in 2016

But to be honest the fact Prince Philip hasn’t said sorry is probably the least surprising part of this whole saga.

With a police investigation still going on, one piece of advice he probably has listened to is to not apologise because it could be seen as an admission of responsibility.

Since he retired from public duties in 2017, a farm house on the Sandringham estate has been Prince Philip’s retirement bolthole.

It’s a place where he’s happily enjoyed his free time and independence, and he’s been able to potter about in his car without anyone batting an eyelid, until the accident.








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Video:
Duke of Edinburgh ‘not injured’ after crash near Sandringham

He has passed a police eye test, he obviously feels up to driving and I can’t see him voluntarily giving up his licence.

The Windsors won’t be the only family dealing with having an elderly relative who thinks they know best and are reluctant to give up any part of their dwindling independence.

One woman you’d think that Prince Philip would listen to is his wife, the Queen.

But there is one story from his uncle, Lord Mountbatten, that is quite telling about their relationship and driving.

On one occasion when the Queen and the Duke were staying at his home, Broadlands, Prince Philip was driving them in an open top sports car.

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh during the polo at the Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park in June 2018
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The Queen was told off when she complained Philip was driving too fast

Philip was driving too fast which caused the Queen to take a sharp intake of breath, to which Philip said: “If you make that bloody noise one more time you’ll have to get out and walk”.

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For the rest of the journey the Queen was quiet. When they eventually arrived Mountbatten asked: “You’re The Queen, why do you let him treat you like that?” She replied smiling: “It’s quite simple, I didn’t want to walk.”

Even Her Majesty knows there are limitations when it comes to telling her husband what to do.

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