Weeks after Prince Philip crashed his armor-plated Land Rover into another vehicle transporting two women and nine-month-old boy, the royal family confirms he won’t get behind the wheel again. The 97-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, husband to Queen Elizabeth II, has surrendered his driver’s license.
“After careful consideration, the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license,” a spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace confirmed, answering renewed scrutiny of Philip’s safety and driving capabilities. Philip had previously offered a formal apology to an injured passenger of the colliding minivan. According to witnesses, he had said the sun “shining low over the main road” affected his ability to see other cars near the Sandringham, Norfolk estate.
Philip was behind the wheel of a Land Rover near the royal family’s Sandringham estate in eastern England when he smashed into another car on Jan. 17. Philip had to be helped out of his overturned vehicle but wasn’t injured. Two women in the other car were injured, though not seriously, and a 9-month-old baby boy was unhurt. Police said Philip and the other driver were both given breath tests for alcohol and passed.
As noted by The New York Times, British drivers over 70 are required to renew their drivers license every three years (and may do so indefinitely), as well as to report and document any new medical conditions that arise. Elizabeth needs no such regulation—as Queen, she is permitted to drive without any license oversight, and has made use of the privilege since 1945.