Prince Philip given ‘words of advice’ after being pictured without seatbelt

Police have spoken to the Duke of Edinburgh after he was pictured driving a new Land Rover without a seatbelt just 48 hours after his crash with a car carrying two women and a baby.

Images published on Saturday appear to show Prince Philip, wearing tinted glasses, back behind the wheel of a replacement Freelander on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

The 97-year-old passed a police eyesight test on Saturday morning as the investigation into Thursday’s crash continues, with police saying “any appropriate action” will be taken if necessary.

Meanwhile the passenger in the Kia car involved has been named by the Sunday Telegraph as Emma Fairweather, 45, who broke her wrist, and it said her friend suffered cuts to the knee in the crash.

The newspaper reports Ms Fairweather, a mother-of-two, has told family and friends she is unhappy with how the incident has been dealt with by police and Buckingham Palace.

The nine-month-old baby boy was unharmed, police said.

A Norfolk Constabulary spokeswoman said the force was aware of the photographs taken on Saturday and that “suitable words of advice have been given to the driver”.

She said: “This is in line with our standard response when being made aware of such images showing this type of offence.”

Buckingham Palace did not comment on the images.

Queen’s Christmas lunch 2018
Queen’s Christmas lunch 2018

The duke reportedly said “I’m such a fool” as he was pulled from his wrecked Freelander on Thursday after it flipped on its side from the impact in the crash close to Sandringham.

The Queen’s transport manager Alex Garty was seen at Sandringham as a replacement Freelander was delivered to the royal residence on Friday.

Philip exchanged “well-wishes” with the injured women and appeared to have no lasting problems following the collision on the busy A-road, a palace spokeswoman said on Friday.

A source said on the same day: “The duke’s routine in the coming days will continue as normal.”

He was examined at hospital on doctor’s advice, but a check-up found no injuries of concern.

Norfolk Police said the women in the Kia were treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn following the crash and later discharged.

In a statement on Friday, the force said: “As is standard procedure with injury collisions, the incident will be investigated and any appropriate action taken.

“We are aware of the public interest in this case, however, as with any other investigation it would be inappropriate to speculate on the causes of the collision until an investigation is carried out.”

Duke of Edinburgh car crash
Duke of Edinburgh car crash

Retired NHS worker Victoria Warne told The Sun she spoke to the duke at the scene of the crash as she looked after the injured occupants of the Kia.

The 72-year-old, from Norfolk, said: “The passenger from the other car told me, ‘I always wanted to meet a royal – but not this way’.

She said the duke asked after the welfare of the Kia occupants, adding: “He looked so worried and told me, ‘I’m such a fool’.”

Her 75-year-old husband Roy helped the stricken duke out of his car, and he told The Sun Philip was overheard telling police he had been “dazzled by the sun”.

Nick Freeman, the lawyer dubbed Mr Loophole, said the duke could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention if he was deemed to have made a mistake.

But he added: “If the sun was so low and right in your eyes, sometimes it’s impossible to see, and that may well have been the case, and that would afford him a defence.”

The duke, who retired from public duties in 2017 but remains active, could also avoid prosecution by surrendering his licence, according to the lawyer known for representing celebrity clients like David Beckham.

The crash happened as Philip’s Freelander pulled out of a side road on to a stretch of the A149 which was earmarked by the local authority for possible safety measures.

The duke appeared to be travelling without a police protection officer, individuals who guard all senior members of the Royal Family when at public and private events.

At a meeting, coincidentally scheduled for Friday, Norfolk County Council approved plans to lower the speed limit from 60mph to 50mph, backed by speed cameras.