Duke of Edinburgh surrenders driving licence as prosecutors consider crash

The Duke of Edinburgh surrendered his driving licence as prosecutors considered whether to bring charges over a crash that injured two women.

Philip, 97, voluntarily gave up his credentials to Norfolk Police on Saturday.

The force said a file on the investigation into the crash last month had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

A CPS statement said the file would be reviewed before a decision to charge or not was brought, and noted that prosecutors "will take this development into account".

Duke of Edinburgh car crash
Duke of Edinburgh car crash

One lawyer had previously suggested the duke could avoid any potential prosecution for driving without due care and attention by giving up his licence.

Philip apologised for his part in the accident on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk when his Land Rover Freelander collided with another car, leaving two women needing hospital treatment.

On Saturday, a statement from Buckingham Palace said: "After careful consideration, the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence."

Norfolk Police confirmed Philip had "voluntarily surrendered his licence to officers".

Discussing the investigation, a CPS spokeswoman said: "We review each file carefully before a decision is made and will take this development into account."

Philip's driving woes began on January 17 when his car flipped over after he pulled out into a busy A road and collided with a Kia, carrying a nine-month old boy, his mother and another passenger.

Duke of Edinburgh
Duke of Edinburgh

He escaped injury, but passenger Emma Fairweather broke her wrist and called for the duke to be prosecuted if he was found to be at a fault.

In a letter dated January 21, Philip wished her a "speedy recovery" and said he "failed to see the car coming", the Sunday Mirror reported.

He blamed the low, bright sun for obscuring his vision, adding he was "very contrite about the consequences".

The crash did not immediately put Philip off driving.

Wearing tinted glasses, he was photographed at the wheel of a replacement Land Rover while not wearing a seatbelt in the ensuing days.

Philip was roundly criticised and police issued him with "suitable words of advice" and said "any appropriate action" would be taken if necessary.

At the time of the collision, celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman said Philip could face a prosecution for driving without due care and attention, which carries an unlimited fine.

But the lawyer, dubbed Mr Loophole, said the duke could avoid prosecution by surrendering his licence.