How badly has the palace screwed up the PR around Prince Philip’s car crash?

Queen church Norfolk

It’s always said that the British royal family are masters at public relations. Which is a weird claim, overall, because the Queen never gives interviews or speaks for herself on the record. Most royal figures only give on-the-record interviews or comments maybe once or twice a year – the rest of the time, it’s “sources say the prince said” or “Emma Royal Fan spoke to Meghan on the walkabout and this is what Meghan said.” That’s their normal m.o. So they’re having issues with Prince Philip’s car crash, and the fact that he caused an accident which injured two women and totaled a car with a baby in a carseat. And by “having issues” I mean that the palace communications office has completely screwed the pooch on this one. It’s been PR disaster after PR disaster. The shiny new Land Rover arriving as the women were being hospitalized, the fact that the palace lied to the press about the Queen and Philip getting in touch with the victims, and the fact that Philip is still driving around without a damn seatbelt. One of Philip’s victims, Emma Fairweather, spoke out a few days ago:

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Emma Fairweather said she was disappointed with the royal family because she had yet to receive an apology from Philip. “I’m lucky to be alive and he hasn’t even said sorry,” Fairweather told the outlet. “It would mean the world to me if Prince Philip said sorry but I have no idea if he’s sorry at all.”

Fairweather went on to share that while she did receive a message from a police family liaison officer, “the message he passed on didn’t even make sense. He said, ‘The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh would like to be remembered to you.’ That’s not an apology or even a well-wish.”

A palace spokeswoman tells PEOPLE that following the collision, “A full message of support was sent to both the driver and the passenger.” The palace spokesperson had no comment on other parts of the interview. Fairweather also disputed a witness’ claim that Philip claimed to have been “dazzled by the sun” before the crash. “I can’t see how that could be true when it was overcast,” Fairweather told the Sunday Mirror.

On Saturday, just two days after the crash, Philip was seen back behind the wheel in a replacement vehicle, driving without a seatbelt near the royal family’s Sandringham Estate. Although a palace spokesperson had no comment, Norfolk Police tell PEOPLE, “We are aware of the photograph.”

“Suitable words of advice has been given to the driver. This is in line with our standard response when being made aware of, or receiving such images showing this type of offense,” the authorities add. Philip also received an eyesight test on Saturday morning, which he passed, according to a police spokesperson. “We can confirm a Norfolk Police officer carried out an eyesight test on the morning of Saturday 19th of January with the driver of the Land Rover who successfully passed,” the spokesperson tells PEOPLE. “The collision investigation is ongoing and no further details will be released at this time.”

[From People]

As some of you have pointed out, the non-apology to the victims might be an issue with insurance/liability – an apology could be seen as an admission of guilt, especially if Emma Fairweather sues (!!). Which she says she’s considering because she might need to take time off from work.

The Daily Mail also noted, “After a farcical failure to get in touch last week, the Queen’s private office scrambled to make amends over the weekend by trying to call the victims, yet was still unable to confirm if the duke had actually apologised.” As of Sunday, Emma still says he hasn’t apologized directly or indirectly, and the only person who has contacted Emma to speak about her health is the Queen’s lady-in-waiting Miss Fairweather. Emma also told the Daily Mail that she’s come under huge pressure to “keep quiet” and that the POLICE have urged her “more than ten times” to be more discreet. As I said, the palace communications office has massively screwed up.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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136 Responses to “How badly has the palace screwed up the PR around Prince Philip’s car crash?”

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  1. Lennn says:

    Out of touch, is what they are, these two. Yes, Elisabeth too. Entitled old people. There was a baby in the car, for God’s sake.

  2. Anna says:

    Wanna bet that Charles, Will, Andrew, Harry etc. will wail over the fact that Grandpa Philip cannot live in peace thanks to harassing paps and press?

  3. Kittycat says:

    Somewhere Samantha Markle is so angry she wasn’t hit by prince Philip.

  4. Mar says:

    I am confused why the woman expects him to contact her though. If there is an ongoing investigation, I don’t see why he would call. Insurance would say don’t do that. I have been hit multiple times and I have never had the person contact me directly, it was always through police and insurance.

    • Janey says:

      yes I agree, you wouldn’t expect another person to ring you up and apologise when your insurance companies are sorting the mess out, just because he’s the DOE doesn’t make any difference. He did ask if they were alright, which is what I also would have done but you can’t admit liability. Once the matter has been settled then that’s that. I’m sorry to say it’s rather typical litigious behaviour though to “sue” because she’s off work, or threaten to. She’s totally taking advantage of the situation and it’s tacky.

      • Scal says:

        I was in a car accident and had to sue the other person to get their insurance to pay for hospital bills. It’s not a case of being greedy-you can’t sue a insurance company you have to sue the individual esp if they are at fault.

      • Sparkly says:

        When normal peons can’t work, they can’t afford life’s basics. They don’t have everything, including the police and replacement vehicles, paid for them. She is absolutely not taking advantage. The duke should be held accountable, and he &/or his insurance should be responsible for replacing her car, paying all hospital bills, and paying for time they can’t work.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        OK, in the UK we have the NHS which means she won’t pay for her medical treatment (we pay National Insurance contributions which covers that), if she cannot work due to her injuries and is a perm employee she will still get paid (she just needs to produce a Dr certificate to her employer) – its illegal for an employer to not pay an employee if they are legitimately off sick. So either way she won’t be out of pocket.

      • Heather says:

        DigitalUnicorn, that only applies if she works certain jobs. If she is self employed like me then she is completely screwed!!

      • Tonktonks says:

        Actually no, if you are off sick you only get £45 a week to live off.

      • Mac says:

        The whole “I could have been killed” is so ridiculous. No one was killed or seriously injured. I am sensing a lot of melodrama here.

      • Nana says:

        @Mac I was involved in an incident where a large truck (or semi-trailer) hit my car twice on a freeway as it tried to merge into my lane. My car fishtailed but I managed to pull off the road and was inconsolable for a good couple of hours (although I only had minor whiplash) and felt traumatised for weeks afterwards. As the truck’s axles loomed, I really thought I would go under them killing me and my dog. Ten years later my whole body still tenses up and my hands tighten around the wheel if a truck passes me on the drivers side.
        Even if there are no serious injuries or deaths in any incident – you can still be really knocked sideways by something like this.
        I’m not sure about her methods (it’s not common to apologise – that’s admitting fault) – maybe she feels the palace put out false statements and she had to speak up? But her trauma I do understand.

    • xdanix says:

      I think I read that she was told to expect a call from the palace? I mean, if she was told that, I kind of can’t blame her for then expecting to hear from them, and being hurt when instead Philip got a brand new car and was out driving without even a seatbelt the day later, all while it was being claimed in the press that they HAD been in touch.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I’m not defending them but car accidents happen all the time and most people get new cars provided by their insurance companies the day after said accident – its perfectly normal so am not sure why she is hurt – she probably got a temporary new car as well (provided by her insurance company). She did get a call from the Palace just not from him himself, it was one of his rep’s who called on his behalf. I think she was expecting him to call her himself – which he wouldn’t have done as its an active police investigation and that’s a big no no, both the police and insurance companies advise against it.

        Both of them being papped without seat belts is poor choices on their part and they both deserve to be called on it. And yes the Palace has managed the PR badly. I also think he should not be allowed to drive on a public road.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        She didn’t get a shiny new car equivalent to her wrecked car delivered to her. She likely had to find a way to get to a rental agency to pick up an old car made available for this purpose, relative to her policy coverage.

        As for being dazzled by the sun, wear sunglasses.

        Could he pass a cursory eye exam while still having cataracts
        and having trouble with glare? Possibly.

      • Rosie says:

        I don’t think it’s the driver that is kicking up the fuss, it’s the passenger. The coverage is OTT. I think Emma Fairweather has an agent because she has been on This Morning, Radio 2 and the papers. Apparently the police liasion officer was asked to pass on the TQ & DOE’s best wishes but she wanted more.

        I don’t think the DOE should be driving, because it sounds like he’s a terrible road hog. We don’t yet know for sure what caused this accident but there are plenty of terrible drivers aged 17-97 and I’d quite like them banned too.

      • derpshooter says:

        yeah, that’s my perspective too. And, she is disputing claims that the palace made FIRST that she got an apology. She didn’t start the conversation by whining about how no one had called to say sorry yet, the royals put/let out that lie and Emma Fairweather Judy responded with a “say what?”

        I’m loving the sunny/overcast argument though. Can’t wait till someone drags in an expert to specify what the weather was at that exact time on only that short stretch of road. I’m sure the DM and Sun are racing each other.

    • Chaine says:

      Do we really expect he has insurance? He is married to one of the world’s richest people. I guess I would be surprised if he has to sit down and call the Geico hotline to notify them of a claim and let them take a recording of his accident narrative.

      • Muffy says:

        At least in the US, you have to have insurance in order to drive on public roads. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. In fact, if you are wealthy that’s all the more reason to have insurance—to protect your assets.

      • Stephanie Hawkins says:

        Is that a Uk exclusive because my car was recked and had to be in the shop for a month and a half to be repaired. A week later we got a shitty rental

      • Olive says:

        @Muffy this is not true across the US. some states don’t require drivers carry insurance at all.

      • Muffy says:

        Olive, in those states if you don’t carry insurance you have to pay a bond upfront or pay into a fund.

      • grumpy says:

        In the UK you have to have car insurance if you are on public roads. High net worth individuals like them would have a broker though, who will sort it all out for them.

    • Jen says:

      Because she was told to expect it and read in the papers that they had reached out to her. If they hadn’t lied both to her and about her, I would agree.

    • LahdidahBaby says:

      Yep, very true. An apology could be taken as an admission of guilt or responsibility for the crash.

    • Amy Too says:

      He’s not a regular person though. If he admits fault, what happens? His insurance rates go up? He is given a fine? He has to settle a lawsuit with these women? It seems incredibly obvious that he was at fault. I can’t see how the investigation will find him not at fault, so the real question is, what will the consequences be of being found at fault and how is putting off or lessening those consequences so much more important than apologizing to these two women who were injured, whose car was totaled, whose baby was endangered, who are now caught up in a public hoopla, who are being threatened by the police to keep quiet and avoid scandal, and who are being forced to take off work and care for a baby with a broken wrist? He’s married to the queen of England. He can’t afford to pay a bit more in insurance or pay a ticket for being at fault in an accident? He can’t afford to pay a settlement? Is his license being threatened? Because it doesn’t seem so. He passed an eye exam and is still driving. Driving without a seat belt and facing zero consequences. Nothing is going to happen to him that he can’t afford to deal with. Even if his license is taken away, which I highly doubt bc of who he is and what’s happened already, he’s 97 years old and has people to drive him. Just to avoid the horrific PR and reinforce to these women, and the public, the concept of the RF being noble, honest, truthful, and worthy of the respect and reverence they expect. Because right now he’s expecting to thwart any and all consequences without even the trade off of pretending to be particularly noble and therefore “deserving” of avoiding any consequences.

      • Boudica says:

        Yes! What is the insurance company going to do if he apologises? Decline to offer indemnity under the policy? Any damages the injured parties might be entitled to would be small change to Philip and his wife. Noblesse oblige, Philip! Do something noble here and put someone else’s interests before your own.

      • Maddie23 says:

        I work in medicine and the first thing they tell you is that when you do something wrong, you apologize. Because in the vast majority of cases, people just want an apology. And in many cases you can prevent a lawsuit just by apologizing. So I don’t see what the harm is in apologizing. So he amid’s he’s at fault? So what. It’s the decent thing to do

  5. mm11 says:

    Has Philip said sorry for something ever? Because as far as I know he’s been an a**hole numerous of times and he’s never apologized so why would he now? It’s a miracle no one got a serious injury, especially the baby. He’s and entitled rich man and he probably thinks he doesn’t have to apologize.

    • Ravensduaghter says:


      • Marjiscott says:

        Well, that is it, isn’t it.?
        It is not either logical or practical that the 97 year old husband of the 91 year old Queen of Great Britain keep driving! It doesn’t matter what he feels, the fact is he has declined to the point he is unsafe on the road. I and the world would hate to see another accident , but if they insist on their ways, another accident could happen.

      • Another Anne says:

        Right? It’s not like they can’t afford a driver to take him wherever he wants to go.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        He’s always been unsafe on the roads. Only this time there’s been a lot of press coverage.

  6. Kittycat says:

    But anyway I have been in two car accidents when I first started to drive and no I didnt contact the people afterwards yo apologize.

    Thankfully no one was hurt.

    In this case it’s good he hasn’t contacted them because that lady is going to sue and get paid for doing interviews.

    The joke is this is an insurance issue but I would love to see prince Philip sued since technically he has little wealth. The Queen has all the money.

  7. Digital Unicorn says:

    Yeah – its a PR mess but I suspect they are being careful due to the police investigation and insurance. Any straight apology would negate any insurance claims.

    • Amy Too says:

      Does the BRF have a discretionary fund for settling lawsuits though? I wouldn’t be surprised. Im sure this is not the first time, nor will it be the last, when a royal did something stupid and caused damage to a person or their property. I bet it’s not a big deal for them to quietly settle things like this whenever they need to.

  8. Sayrah says:

    What does the police report say in terms of who received a ticket? That should determine fault. The police are asking the potential victim to be discreet? What?

    • Kittycat says:

      Ah sounds like the police dont want this woman going on and on about a minor accident involving a notable person.

      Like why are we throwing out normal procedures just because of who is involved?

      • lubbylou says:

        because it might prejudice a court case?

      • sunny disposition says:

        Well, it does very much look like intimidation by the police which shouldn’t happen.

        A well-informed public who keeps expressing interest in Philip’s accident might be helpful so that the legal procedures are going to be carried out adequately.

        Sometimes it happens that legal procedures aren’t carried out when one party involved is rich and terribly powerful and the other party is not at all rich and no powerful.

  9. Vexa says:

    Yea this is bad… I’m surprised that the royals haven’t figured out that ‘staying silent no matter what’ just isn’t appropriate in every circumstance. Both Philip and Elizabeth look incredibly arrogant. I get that you don’t apologise in a car accident situation but surely a simply statement saying ‘we’re glad everyone is safe’ would be fine??

    • sunny disposition says:

      royals do never excuse. they like their royal priviledges.

    • Amy Too says:

      The not talking about the accident or apologizing directly isn’t really THAT awful on its own. It’s when you combine it with him getting a brand new car immediately, instantly returning to driving, driving on public roads again, and driving EVEN MORE unsafely than before by not wearing his seatbelt, that it becomes so very insolent and like a slap in the face to the public and especially to the women who were injured. It seriously looks like Prince Philip is trolling these women at this point by blatantly and flagrantly playing the “I’m a royal so I don’t have to follow any of society’s niceties or think about anyone else, nor do I have to live within the law, and I will never face any consequences for my actions!”

  10. Flying fish says:

    No contact makes sense given any possible liability issues, however, I agree, the Palace’s treatment of this accident is terrible.

  11. Christin says:

    Wonder what the eye exam involved?

    “Dear noble one, can you see that large vehicle right in front of you? Yes? Your eyes are fine, oh royal entitled one. Don’t worry about eyeglasses or seatbelts. Those are for the regular people.”

      • Christin says:

        My comment was sarcasm. However, I doubt there is any 97 year old with the reflexes, judgment and hearing/vision to drive safely. It would be like a 10 year old being granted a license.

    • sunny disposition says:

      To be honest I have doubts about 97-years old Philips adequate eyesight, too.
      Because most people I know and who are over 85 do have trouble with their eye sight and with delivering adequately speedy reactions. Not to speak about stiff necks and stiff spines so that turning the head backwards or sideways becomes more difficult, too.
      Adequate eyesight at age 97???
      Has the doctor been lured with a knighthood in the near future?

      Excerpt from the guardian article above:
      Under current rules, the only mandatory examination of vision takes place during the practical test, when learners must read a number plate from 20 metres. Once someone has obtained their licence, it is up to them to tell the DVLA if they have a problem with their eyesight.

      • Agirlandherdog says:

        To be fair, at the age of 97, my grandfather had better vision than I had in my 20s. After having his cataracts removed, he had perfect vision. However, I agree with you that, in general, most people in their 90s (honestly even their 80s) should not be driving. There are, of course, exceptions, but most people as they get older lose their reflexes and can’t respond as quickly.

        My mom is 67, and quite frankly, I plan on taking her keys in a few years. She’s already a menace. But with her it’s because she’s a nervous driver.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        Good luck with your mom…might be best to try to discuss with the situation with her now, as you have no legal right to take away her driving ‘privilege’ without documentation of something that could impair her driving.

        If she was not nervous in the past but has become nervous lately, it could be worthwhile trying to figure out whether there is some underlying change – mental, visual, etc. – that is making driving more nerve-wracking for her. You could also suggest that she take one of the short courses that help older drivers adapt to their situation; insurance often pays for them. It’s a little refresher and could help her identify areas that weaken her confidence.

        Even the normal changes of aging make driving a little harder: glare is harder, not only but especially with cataracts. Night driving is harder, as our eyes don’t let in as much light as they did when we were young. Reading signs is of course harder, even with corrective lenses you have to get that part of your glasses in the right place. Range of motion is tougher, esp. when there’s arthritis. Our information processing slows down, as do our reflexes. It’s so much harder to tune out distractions (I speak from experience, in my early 60s – no more rock music or belting it out; just classical and jazz). This is all on average of course, and we change individually at different rates, but change we do.

        My mother was very nervous about driving and, thankfully, gave up after a few lessons to everyone’s relief — but she lived in a big city and was a whiz at taking the bus and subway. It’s not for everyone.

      • Christin says:

        My thought was it could have been a Doctor Ronny type assessment, influenced by the person’s position. Maybe there are officers who would not be influenced (or afraid) of the royal aspect. Who knows.

  12. MrsBanjo says:

    I don’t think the lack of contact would have been much of an issue if there weren’t claims made that he had contacted them in the first place. That, plus the fact that he was treated to a new car the next day, and was breaking tre law while driving the day after that all combined to create this mess. It’s a stadium-sized spotlight on his privilege. As the injured party having to try and go back to work to earn my living, I’d be pissed and shouting about it, too.

    • spidee!!! says:

      The car was one brought across from Windsor apparently, so “not new”

      • MrsBanjo says:

        Even if that’s the case, the optics are terrible, and he went out the next day and drove illegally sans seat belt. They’re handling this horribly, and the victims are right to be pissed.

      • Amy Too says:

        Even if the car was brought from another palace and wasn’t brand new, the fact that he apparently has access to a whole fleet of extra cars that can be hand delivered to his doorstep immediately upon totaling one, is crazy privileged. The women who had their car totaled are left without a car. Their insurance might cover a rental, or it might cut them a check so that they can buy another car, but they’re injured, with a baby, without a vehicle, and have to take off work to deal with replacing their car. I don’t know how car insurance works in the UK, but in Michigan, USA, I pay the highest prices in the nation for car insurance, like $150/month, and when my car was totalled in an accident, the insurance company gave me a check for the resale price of my car (which was obviously not anywhere near the actual cost to replace that exact car, or even to buy a comparable used car) minus $1,000 for my deductible. It was basically enough to act as a down payment for financing my next used car.

  13. Talie says:

    Yeah, I don’t think they are wrong to not have Philip talk to directly to these women. He and his insurance will most likely be wrapped up in a lawsuit. Also, there’s no way he can still communicate on a telephone. His hearing has to be shot.

    The photos of him driving are just the worst look. He looks terrible and everyone knows he has a million people who could drive him around.

  14. TheOriginalMia says:

    I’ve been reading the royal forums and there’s talk this lady isn’t being entirely truthful. That BP has tried to contact her and she won’t pick up. Now, that could be true. I can’t see BP not trying to get in front of this thing due to the potential liability claim and the optics, but that’s the talk. That she is angling for a payday. Tbh she deserves one because she wasn’t at fault in the accident and she suffered a broken wrist. Either way, money will exchange hands because there was pain and suffering.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Given that she’s been on morning TV in the UK and spoke exclusively to the Daily Fail tells you all you need to know – she’s cashing in and getting her 5 mins of fame in. Her insurance should cover for any damage or injury she and her passengers have suffered – that’s what its there for.

      Not sure why she’s blabbing to the press (other than for the ££), no one blames her for the accident.

      • Natalie S says:

        Philip needs to get off the road and if it takes publicly embarrassing him until he does, then so be it.

      • TheOriginalMia says:

        She wasn’t at fault in the accident. Phillip is wholly responsible for her car and her injuries. She shouldn’t have to use her insurance for anything. Her medical will be covered by her health insurance for sure (universal healthcare) but Phillip (his insurance) will ultimately have to reimburse them for her care. At least, that’s how it’s done in the US.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @TheOriginalMia – As i said in a previous post she will not have to pay for her medical treatment in any way due to the NHS (that is covered by National Insurance Contributions that everyone working person in the UK pays). Again, her injuries will be dealt with by the NHS and if she is unable to work she (paid via her employer) will be entitled to SSP (Statutory Sick Pay).

        Plus i never said she was responsible for the accident.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Apols if I am grumpy about this – yes he is a notorious bad driver who needs to be called out on it and have his license taken away but the PR hysteria is a tad OTT. Its worth noting that its the passenger that’s all over the press milking it, its normal for those involved not to talk to each other until the police/insurance companies have completed their investigations and come to a settlement.

        He is not getting special treatment even thou the passenger is shrieking that he is – me thinks she’s just annoyed that she didn’t get a personal phone call from him.

        And to be clear, yes he was responsible for the accident and will/should be held accountable for it.

      • Amy Too says:

        I would think to bring attention to the fact that this man is driving at the age of 97 when he doesn’t need to, driving unsafely and causing accidents, and enjoying the protection of the police who are apparently just going to “investigate” forever, while he continues to drive around public roads, this time without even wearing his seat belt. She has a right to tell her story, challenger the “we reached out and apologized” narrative coming from the palace, and bring attention to the fact that there is a very real danger present on public roads whenever Prince Philip drives, and that the police appear to be giving him preferential treatment and telling her to pipe down because he’s a royal. I doubt she’s super excited to be getting her “15 minutes of fame” like this. Just like I don’t think that the parkland shooting victims are excited to be getting their 15 minutes of fame for being shot at in school. Just like I don’t think any woman who comes forward with claims of sexual assault is excited to be getting her 15 minutes of fame for being assaulted. This is obviously not as big a crime or trauma as the other examples, but a punishable offense was committed by Prince Philip, it caused severe damage to these women and their car, it was probably terrifying, and it endangered their and the baby’s lives. They would like to bring awareness to what happened in an effort to prevent something like this happening again.

      • Snap Happy says:

        @Amy Too – agree with every word. He put her in this position. She didn’t go out for a ride hopping to be hit by someone famous. And the police telling her to pipe down is awful.

      • jan90067 says:

        Not just paying for her car… If she’s got a broken wrist and is trying to care for an infant, her home, a family?? She deserves someone paid for to help her in the house, perhaps a housekeeper/cook to keep things running until she’s properly healed. This accident is not HER fault! Shouldn’t be HER burden to “try and cope”. JMO.

      • wolfgirl says:

        Amy I agree. In Australia this is the position for drivers at his age. In fact over 85 years :

        “Unrestricted licence – practical driving assessment

        If you want to keep your unrestricted licence, you’ll need to pass a practical driving assessment every second year (at 85 years old, 87, 89, and so on).

        You can do a driving test with a Roads and Maritime testing officer, or you can choose to be assessed by an Older Driver Assessor. Older Driver Assessors are driving instructors accredited by Roads and Maritime, and charge a fee to conduct an assessment in your local area.”

        In my job I constantly see older drivers who are a danger on the roads. We can all understand that they want to keep driving. Wouldn’t we all. A lack of insight into our loss of capacity is a common part of ageing. It’s our responsibility to make sure the majority of people are safe. I’m horrified he’s still on the roads.

  15. sunny disposition says:

    Adequately perfect eyesight at age 97 ???
    Adequate reaction at age 97 ????
    did the doctor who confirmed philip’s adequate eyesight a knighthood?

  16. Elena says:

    There are people of all ages who insist they are good drivers in spite of clear evidence otherwise.

    I feel like this is something out of Shakespear…a stubborn character who will not heed the warnings provided to him. It’s like my uncle says, you’re right until you’re not.

    I am shocked he continued to drive and the vehicle was replaced right away. Badly done!

    • ArtHistorian says:

      Philip has always had a reputation as a reckless driver – all the way back to the 1940s where even newspapers questioned whether Elizabeth should drive with him after a series of incidents, including fender bender and speeding.

      He has been involved in much more serious incidents since the 1980s as this article lays out: Prince Philip’s Car Crash Fuels His Reputation For Arrogance by Tom Sykes in the Daily Beast.

      Just read some of these stories:

      One courtier told the Daily Mail that being accustomed to having roads cleared for them had bred “a sense of entitlement and invincibility” among the royals, adding that when that attitude was combined with “the duke’s age and stubbornness,” the result was “a potentially dangerous combination.”

      One man who called a radio phone-in claimed, “The Duke of Edinburgh nearly killed me in an accident about 30 years ago.

      “It was the second or third week of August in 1987 at around 6 o’clock. I was driving north on the A93 between Blairgowrie and Spittal of Glenshee and he came down the road, driving right down the middle of the road, chatting to ex-King Constantine of Greece. He wasn’t concentrating.

      “He crossed the white line and came right at us. Me and my passenger thought that our last seconds had come.

      “I had to swerve out the way, knocked the wing mirror off, lost a quarter-bumper and a couple of wheel trims.”

      A local Sandringham resident told the Mirror: “He’s 97, with a range of medical complaints, and drives as if he’s the only one on the road. If you saw him, you’d get ready to get out of the way.”

      Teaching assistant Charlotte Tuffnell, of Fakenham, said: “He nearly ran my dad off the road a few years back.”

      Businessman Patrick Daynes said he was left in a neck brace after the Duke ran into the back of his car at a zebra crossing in 1996.

      “It was entirely his fault,” he said.

      In short, PHILIP DRIVES AS IF HE’S THE ONLY PERSON ON THE ROAD – and he has done so for decades!

      • AmyLue says:

        @Arthistorian – nice to see you. It’s been ages. I miss all the old regulars. Thank you for your informative perspective. I’m sure they won’t, but he needs to be taken off the roads.

    • Jo says:

      I think the fact that Prince Phillip is out driving again two days after causing a fairly serious crash, with no protection officer and not bothering to wear a seat belt is a far more serious problem than whether the Palace contacted the driver he hit and injured. He’s 97, and should not be driving. He has people who can drive him anywhere at anytime, and I understand that he’s a huge curmudgeon, but someone needs to take the keys away. Where’s he even going on these solo runs anyway?

  17. Murphy says:

    Yes they should have assigned handlers to all parties involved immediately.

  18. Helen says:

    “massive pressure to keep quiet”.. i’m glad she isn’t keeping quiet, i despise when the rich/powerful threaten people like this. get over yourselves, you poop like everyone else does.

  19. Natalie S says:

    Why are the police harassing this woman? Why are they telling her to be more discreet? Does anyone else want to be the next person Philip hits with his car because no one stands up to the royals and tells them no? Can you imagine if that were your child in the car and you were receiving phone calls from the police about being discreet?

    The royals are not good at p.r. so much as they are insanely protected from the consequences of their actions and it’s disgusting.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Well it is an open and ongoing investigation – her blabbing to the press could interfere with due process and affect insurance claims (hers included).

      • Natalie S says:

        How, specifically? I think it’s more likely that the Palace wants to control what the public knows about this. I mean, I wonder if the police would dare tell them to be more discreet.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @natalie: It could if she says something that is later proven to be false once the police and insurance companies complete their investigation.

      • Natalie S says:

        I really hope she’s not that dumb. I don’t begrudge her putting Philip and the Palace on blast though because I think they’re hoping to keep this as quite as possible and continue on just as before.

      • TheOriginalMia says:

        DigitalUnicorn is correct. An attorney worth their license would tell her to stop talking. The insurance company can use her public statements against her. She has a good case right now. No need to go on tv unless it’s as DU said and she wants her 15 minutes of fame. Her media blitz could backfire and make her less sympathetic to a jury.

      • Tina says:

        We only have juries in criminal trials here in the UK (and in practice, unless it is a murder, rape or violent assault, it’s a judge only). I feel very sorry for this woman. She’s just an ordinary person who broke her wrist and had to wait 2 hours for an ambulance to come, in a lot of pain, when Philip was whisked off immediately. Don’t blame her for taking the money from the tabloids – she wouldn’t be awarded much in a civil claim here, barring life-changing injuries.

    • Original Jenns says:

      I don’t know about this situation but, working in prosecution, there are time the attorneys or the police have asked victims and witnesses to basically be quiet about the incident. There are times coverage or talking can affect a case (Social media can be very beneficial for both sides as it’s like getting statements without even speaking to someone, which can then be used later on in court). So I hoping it more to do with that that than intimidation.

  20. OSTONE says:

    I think the biggest blunder was having a new Range Rover delivered for him the very next day and for Elizabeth to be driving without a seatbelt within 48 hours of the accident. Terrible optics! Their PR machine is still stuck in the 80s for sure.

  21. Montrealaise says:

    If the Palace thinks the optics look bad now, wait until he kills someone. I realize that many elderly drivers don’t want to give up driving because it represents independence for them, but there have been fatal accidents involving older people who should not have been behind the wheel. Last year, the police stopped an 85-year-old man driving the wrong way on a highway near my home – apparently, he didn’t even realize he was driving on the wrong side until police informed him. Time for someone to take his keys away permanently.

    • Elena says:

      You are so right. Philip especially has the means to have a driver take him wherever he wants to go. It is so selfish that he insists on endangering others. He’s clearly not a safe driver. There are other ways to be independent. What good is independence if it costs someone else’s life?

    • ArtHistorian says:

      He has come close to killing people on the road before – as far back as the 1980s:

      “The Duke of Edinburgh nearly killed me in an accident about 30 years ago.

      “It was the second or third week of August in 1987 at around 6 o’clock. I was driving north on the A93 between Blairgowrie and Spittal of Glenshee and he came down the road, driving right down the middle of the road, chatting to ex-King Constantine of Greece. He wasn’t concentrating.

      “He crossed the white line and came right at us. Me and my passenger thought that our last seconds had come.

      “I had to swerve out the way, knocked the wing mirror off, lost a quarter-bumper and a couple of wheel trims.”

      I’ll repeat the salient parts of the story:

      - I wonder whether Philip even registered that another vehicle was forced off the road in order to avoid a head-on collision with him.

      • minx says:

        That is horrifying.
        He is so arrogant, he probably thinks everyone has to get off the road and he can drive however he pleases.

      • ArtHistorian says:


        Even a courtier has said that he’s arrogant

        One courtier told the Daily Mail that being accustomed to having roads cleared for them had bred “a sense of entitlement and invincibility” among the royals, adding that when that attitude was combined with “the duke’s age and stubbornness,” the result was “a potentially dangerous combination.”

        (that is from the Tom Sykes article in the Daily Beast)
        I’m not including a link because then it wouldn’t get past moderation

  22. Josie says:

    Look, even if the woman refused to pick up the phone and even if the DoE can’t be allowed to apologize for insurance reasons, it’s still the case that the Palace issued a statement saying that the Queen and the Duke has exchanged well wishes with the passengers in the other car. And that’s a lie, even if it’s a lie because one of the passengers is seizing her chance. They could have said “we are handling this privately” or any number of other innocuous truths. The palace has messed up here.

    • LNG says:

      It wasn’t really a lie though, the article says that a “goodwill message” had been passed through a police liaison officer on Friday. It seems that the palace thought this was enough and the woman disagreed.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Indeed – she’s now shrieking about how its a cover up. How can it be a cover up if the police/insurance companies haven’t even finished their investigation! And as its been pointed out several times both the police and insurance companies advise against parties to a car accident from speaking to each other as it anything that you say/do can and will be used against you in the claim. Its standard practice not a cover up. The passenger is looking for a pay day and her 5mins of fame from the press.

        A family member told me that an apology is considered an admission of accountability by the insurance companies which is why he was advised not to offer any apologies after he was in a minor crash (it wasn’t his fault, the other driver ran a red light and hit him while he was stationary – the other driver claimed otherwise as they always do to protect their claims bonus).

        And for the record he and others in that family are guilty of dangerous driving in and around Windsor – he won’t get away with it and the police confirmed he was spoken to by them over the ‘no seat belt’ pap shots.

      • Tina says:

        “Contact has been made privately and well wishes exchanged” does not seem the same thing to me as a police liaison officer saying that the Queen and PP want to be remembered to her. The statement from BP was, at the very least, extremely disingenuous, if not an outright lie.

  23. Cee says:

    “massive pressure to keep quiet”
    Just this would make me sue Philip and anyone enabling him to drive recklessly. The law is the law – no one is above it, not even the Consort. How dare they pressure the VICTIM to keep quiet.

  24. Jemimaleopard says:

    Question … nowhere does it say that he was breathalysed?? Anyone know if it’s standard in U.K. to be breathalysed after RTA or only if there’s suspicion of being under the influence?

    • LNG says:

      Both parties were breathalysed and both came back negative. It is standard practice in the UK for it to be done after all accidents. It was outlined in a few of the earlier stories.

  25. Kyra says:

    Why the fuck is he driving.

  26. Liz version 700 says:

    Man the next time I hear a story about the palace claiming that Prince William is spoiled and entitled, I am gonna think we’ll it appears to be a family trait. I am dubious about the process and victim’s motives a bit. But irregardless. these folks were legit injured and they Palace has handled it like they consider this woman to be a serf

  27. Giddy says:

    Philip is 97 years old. What on earth is a 97 year old doing driving? Maybe he passed a very easy eye exam, but how are his reflexes? I think it’s horrifying that he’s behind the wheel at all. This is someone who can easily afford a driver and should have one. Are they going to wait until he actually does kill someone? He’s a menace.

  28. Margo Smith says:

    The guy looks old as eff. And what a bubble you must live in to forgoe an apology when you crash into another car WITH A BABY INSIDE. Shame on all of them.

  29. RoyalBlue says:

    Well the British royalty are reknowned for maintaining a stiff upper lip and being aloof from the people (which is why Meghan’s hugging and empathetic behavior is shocking to the public and press). I am not surprised by their response, as this real-world interaction with the public is completely uncommon for them, they are out of their depth and have no idea how to respond. Such a shame really.

  30. aquarius64 says:

    The mess up started when Philip was driving without a seatbelt. This woman went on TV saying Philip should be prosecuted if he is found at fault. But now it’s getting to the point that the results of the investigation can’t be trusted.

  31. Busyann says:

    This is slightly OT and I may not articulate it well, but something feels more than a little out of control with the Royal Family. They used to run such a tight ship and now, we have a lot of stuff going on with outsiders, the royals, and the media. For example, the markles and their selling out of Meghan, the middletons giving interviews like they never have before, making private instagrams public, and now this accident. It’s all starting to feel a bit tacky and common.

    • Ennie says:

      Only because those inside did not comment, but tacky? Oh yea some of them are/ have been quite tacky.
      Charles and his adulterous shenanigans, the yorks adventures, both sides, even Koo starr. Edwards wife, anne and apparently getting with a. Then married man, her current husband, there was gossip, but I need to freshen my memories about that. Uncle middleton,The older ones, well, press really protected them and were mostly respectful even if they lived in a. Gilded cage.

    • Olive says:

      the 24/7 news media cycle coupled with the internet is largely responsible for that – i would bet the royals have always been like this, we just never heard about it because it was much easier to cover up back in the day. now these stories can spread like wildfire on social media instead of being covered up by the complicit press.

  32. KidV says:

    Apparently Philip and Kate share a love of buttons.

  33. Feeshalori says:

    I recently brought my 96 year old mom to have her eyes checked and her vision is better than mine without glasses. The doctor told me that with her eyesight she could actually drive, but he said with her reflexes and limited range of motions that’s impossible. So just because she has good eyesight doesn’t prove she’d be competent behind the wheel. So many other factors clearly prohibit her driving. Has Philip at his age been given a pass because his eyesight checks out but they’re minimalizing his overall condition? I obviously believe so.

    • Christin says:

      I made a half-joking comment above based on what you describe. A very rudimentary eye test is only part of the equation. Years of driving experience can be negated by any of the factors common to elderly.

      In recent years, several drivers have ran into buildings in my area. Each time, it was an elderly driver who either could not remember or said they accelerated instead of braking. One of my favorite restaurants has been crashed into twice. One elderly woman crashed into a beauty salon and did seriously injure a customer.

  34. Feeshalori says:

    And to clarify my post above, my mom hasn’t driven for years and there’s no question she’d be able to do so again.

  35. MJ says:

    My lovely grandpa drove until he was 94. He had perfect vision (after his catarat laser operation), a wonderful memory and a very sound head on his shoulders. He stopped driving because he had a weak knee and considered automatic cars were not proper cars, so if he couldn’t drive a shift gear why drive at all? The truth is at 94 he was still a good driver and if it was not for his bad knee he would have been driving at 97, like Philip. Each person is a case, there is no need to impose age limits, the only limit should be the passing of a yearly medical test after a certain age.

  36. Eleonor says:

    “It’s always said that the British royal family are masters at public relations”
    Who said that???
    Diana was a master, the British royal are so stuck in the past they barely understand the concept of pr.

  37. Amy Too says:

    Wait. The lady in the accident is named Emma Fairweather and the queen’s lady in waiting who phoned her is also Miss Fairweather? That’s funny.

  38. Rosie says:

    The passenger was saying in a tv interview that she was surprised the police hadn’t taken her statement. The police responded by saying they had tried numerous times to make contact and had got no response. Maybe if she spent less time giving interviews she’d have been able to give her statement. The driver doesn’t want to talk about the accident.

    British roads are difficult you don’t drive, you negotiate traffic. My journey to work can take between 7 mins and 30 depending on traffic. I have to take calculated risks to get out of junctions, around blind corners and past mums unloading their kids at school. There are many dangerous idiotic drivers and a lot of accidents. Prince Phillip isn’t alone in his arrogance and stupidity and if all of them were banned I’d have a bloody easier and safer journey to work.

  39. vegasschmegas says:

    Here’s my question – where is this 97 year old Pee-paw going that he needs to drive himself? Look at the glasses and the bug eyes on that guy. Does he really need to drive himself to Sainsbury to pick up some tea or Boots to get a Fleet enema? Can’t someone do that for him? Does the Queen need more lifesavers to get stuck to the tissues in her Majesty’s handbag (because that’s what I imagine is going on in that bag – she’s got that, and the keys to Buckingham Palace going on in there).

    He’s a menace on the road – Charles needs to grow a pair and tell him it’s time to sit it out. He could have killed those women and that baby. And two days later, in a new shiny Land Rover, out again, with no seatbelt? Nope, just nope.

  40. liriel says:

    No matter if she’s cashing in the fact that he was papped driving 2 days after the incident without a seatbelt tells you all. It’s almost like trolling.
    Frankly if I were her, I’d be furious and felt wronged. I know life is unfair but here is such a blatant case of it. And yeah, apologising is admitting to doing wrong but he did that and he’s not going to be worry that his insurance $ will go up. I truly believe that if he did apologise she’d feel kind of honoured and would act better.
    The PR is doing a terrible job, they even can’t handle Philip himself. Good lord, we all thought he were going to day, were sorry for him. To be fair he always was known to be a jerk.
    After Diana the Queen should have learned her lesson that keeping quiet is not the best policy.

  41. Elaine says:

    The old man needs to hang it up before he takes somebody or himself out..

  42. A says:

    Yeah, I gotta say that it doesn’t exactly matter if the lady in question is cashing in. The crux of the issue isn’t whether they apologized or not, it’s the fact that Philip is going about his life without a change in status quo whatsoever. A 97 year old man who got into a car accident should not be sighted replicating that same activity within 48 hours, and that too with conditions that are much more dangerous than before. I feel like this was a decision he made to stick it to the naysayers, and it comes off as terribly callous and insensitive and rude. This is as much about his own well being as it is about the well being of the general public if you ask me, and the fact that he’s seen to be so tremendously cavalier about it is a bad look, even if the lady in question is lying and exploiting her fifteen minutes of fame. It would have paid to be contrite and somewhat conciliatory, at least for a few weeks, until everything blew over.

    • Holly says:

      I would have hoped that he would see the accident as a huge ‘wake up’ call. He was extremely fortunate not to be killed or badly injured, similarly that he did not take others’ lives. Imagine if that poor woman had lost an arm, rather than had a broken arm, or if the passengers/baby had been killed or maimed. It might have ended the monarchy.
      It also seems to me so foolish for him not to be accompanied by Protection officers. Someone could target a frail, elderly man. or he might have a heart attack or become unwell at the wheel and injure others. If the officers were there they could assist him.

  43. CairinaCat says:

    Where that hell is his rpo??
    Why is he going out driving alone