Prince Philip ‘very shocked and shaken’ after car crash near Sandringham Estate

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The Duke of Edinburgh has been involved in a car crash near to the Sandringham Estate. The Duke, 97, was driving the car but was not injured in the collision.

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Police have confirmed he was breath tested at the scene, and had not been drinking.

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The female driver of the second car, a Kia, suffered cuts while a female passenger sustained an arm injury, both requiring hospital treatment.

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Norfolk Police and ambulance crews attended the scene, on the A149 on Thursday afternoon.

It is understood that the Duke had been pulling out of a driveway and onto the main road, with his Land Rover overturning onto the driver’s side.

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“An eyewitnesses said they helped the duke out of the vehicle. He was conscious but ‘very, very shocked’ and shaken,” the BBC said.

The Duke has been examined by a doctor at Sandringham, where he has been staying with the Queen over the Christmas period.

The royal car and one other vehicle was taken away from the scene by recovery truck, with police at the scene.

The Duke of Edinburgh's car after it was involved in a collision at Babingley, Norfolk  - Credit: Chris Bishop /Archant 
The Duke of Edinburgh’s car after it was involved in a collision at Babingley, Norfolk  Credit: Chris Bishop /Archant 

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace confirmed: “The Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road traffic accident with another vehicle this afternoon.

“The Duke was not injured.”

She added: “He saw a doctor as a precaution and the doctor confirmed he was not injured.”

The spokesman would not comment on whether the Duke had passengers, but it is likely that he was travelling with his close protection officer.

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: “Norfolk Police can confirm officers attended a collision on the A149 at Sandringham today.

“Officers were called to the scene shortly before 3pm after a Landrover and Kia were involved in a collision.

“The male driver of the Landrover was uninjured. The female driver of the Kia suffered cuts while the female passenger sustained an arm injury, both requiring hospital treatment.

“We can confirm both casualties from the Kia have been treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn and have since been discharged.

“The road remained open and both vehicles were recovered a short time later.

“It is force policy to breath test drivers involved in collisions. We can confirm both drivers were breath tested and provided negative readings.”

The Duke has an up-to-date driving licence, a palace source confirmed.

Berneen Caney, 25, who witnessed the scene of the accident, said: “It appeared to be quite serious, there was a lot of glass over the road as well as debris, I saw one of the cars was quite badly damaged, as for the Range Rover, its windows were smashed.”

The support worker from King’s Lynn added: “By the time I passed by, the Range Rover had been tipped back up on its wheels.

“I didn’t see that much as I was more concerned the car in front of me was braking to turn off and that there was glass and debris all over the road.

“There was a lot of people there including police, and there was a paramedic there too.”

The Archbishop of York shared a message of support for the Duke of Edinburgh following the car accident.

The scene of the accident. The Duke was said to be shocked but unhurt
The scene of the accident. The Duke was said to be shocked but unhurt 

John Sentamu tweeted: “Almighty God, the Fountain of all Goodness, We humbly beseech thee to bless Philip Duke of Edinburgh: Enbue him with thy Holy Spirit; enrich him with thy Heavenly Grace; prosper him with all happiness; and bring him to thine everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

The Duke has remained in the driving seat following his retirement, often photographed at the wheel of his car or in his carriage.

In 2016, he personally drove the former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle with the Queen to Windsor Castle after the Marine One presidential helicopter landed close to the monarch’s Berkshire home during their visit to the UK in April 2016.

Philip retired from official royal engagements in August 2017.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “We wish the Duke of Edinburgh well. Many commentators use high profile car crashes involving elderly drivers as a reason to call for bans or restrictions on older drivers.

Prince Philip driving near Balmoral Castle in September last year  - Credit: Peter Jolly/Northpix
Prince Philip driving near Balmoral Castle in September last year  Credit: Peter Jolly/Northpix

“If driving restrictions based on age and safety were introduced we would be more likely to restrict young drivers rather than older drivers.

“Young, predominantly male, drivers are much more likely to crash within 6 months of passing their test than older drivers within 6 months of hanging up their keys.

“Older drivers often self restrict their driving by not driving at night and only driving on familiar roads.

“The decision to hang up your keys is a tough one but should be based on personal advice from your GP and family rather than being based on some arbitrary age. We all age differently and the car is an essential lifeline for many elderly people.”

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