Prince Philip ‘is a law unto himself, he doesn’t want to be driven around’

Princess of Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank Wedding

With Prince Philip, first there was the accident, and then there was the disaster. The car accident left a Land Rover and a Kia totaled last week, and left two women hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Philip was driving alone in the Land Rover and he caused the accident. It could have been a bad story about how the Duke of Edinburgh just needs to stop driving and this was the non-fatal incident that led to it. Instead, the Duke and the palace seemed to dig in and it became a giant PR disaster. Philip had a shiny new Land Rover delivered to Sandringham, and he was seen driving without a seatbelt just days after his accident. Sources say that he has no intention of giving up driving, and one of the car crash victims keeps telling her story and talking about how Philip and the Queen haven’t called to apologize or ask how she’s doing. It’s a PR nightmare.

Buckingham Palace has been reluctant to be drawn into the narrative, but its strategy doesn’t seem to be working. The Queen, who was photographed again on Saturday, this time wearing her safety belt, eventually had a senior aide try to contact the crash victims. But some media observers deemed it too little, too late. As P.R. advisor Ian Monk told Vanity Fair, “The reverberations from the P.R. [surrounding the] car crash are causing more damage than the actual collision on the A149. A short, warm and personal handwritten note of apology from the Duke should have been in Miss Fairweather’s hands 48 hours before the media inevitably came calling. Equally ill-advised were the pictures of Philip back at the wheel the next day and without a seatbelt. The message, while plainly not intended, came across clearly: one rule for royals, another for subjects. As Marie Antionette might have said: “Let them wear seatbelts.’”

The Sunday Mirror reported that Philip was required to take an eye test as part of an ongoing police investigation, and he passed. Sources close to the Duke say he is likely to continue driving in the manner he is accustomed to. Such defiance is typical of the independent, feisty and determined Duke but it does pose a problem for his aides who are at the centre of the ongoing P.R. maelstrom.

“Philip is a law unto himself,” said one source. “The Queen and Prince Charles have pleaded with him to stop driving on public roads. Charles particularly thinks it’s too dangerous but Philip won’t be told. He loves the freedom he gets from being on the road, and he doesn’t want to be driven around. There is really only one person he listens to and that’s the Queen, and while I know she has had words in the past, I’m not sure she would ever insist he stops driving.”

A police investigation is still ongoing and might lead to legal consequences for the Duke. In addition, there are still unanswered questions about Philip’s protection team, and why they weren’t first on the scene in the aftermath of the accident. The B.B.C. reported that the Duke was driving alone when he crashed, and his protection officer was following some distance behind in a separate car. It was a member of the public who pulled the royal from the wreckage.

According to one royal insider: “Philip has always liked to give his protection officers the slip. He often won’t tell them where he’s going or what he’s doing, and so they’re playing catch up.”

[From Vanity Fair]

Former protection officer Ken Wharfe backs up what those royal insiders say in an interview with People. Wharfe also notes that this story could have been so much worse, and that the Duke could have really killed someone or done serious harm, and that “To go on his own and not wear a seat belt and not take a bodyguard is crazy.” Agreed. The whole idea of a 97-year-old man “giving his bodyguards the slip” and running off by himself and getting into a car accident is insane. It’s also insane to think of how badly the palace has handled this entire incident.

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Photos courtesy of WENN and Avalon Red.

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56 Responses to “Prince Philip ‘is a law unto himself, he doesn’t want to be driven around’”

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  1. Loretta says:

    But it’s Meghan that is called by the tabloids “Duchess difficult”. Racism and misogyny at their best.

  2. Anastasia says:

    Good Lord, the word “menace” isn’t even strong enough to describe him. Get his ass off the roads before he kills someone!

    • Kumquat says:

      Dang, he is one selfish, arrogant old turd! Can’t they take his drivers license away? And how is it that he “listens to the queen” yet….isn’t listening to the queen?
      Absolutely NO ONE should be driving at that age.

      • Swack says:

        Taking away a driver’s license doesn’t mean he’ll stop driving. My grandmother was the same way. My mom tried to get the Dr. to say she can’t drive – he wouldn’t. Couldn’t take the keys away because my mom didn’t know how many and where the extra keys to the car were. Disabling the car would not have worked as my grandmother would have had it fixed (she had AAA for towing). Don’t know what the solution is. For my grandmother it was when she went into the nursing home.

    • Carmen says:

      Somebody needs to take his car keys away before the old fart kills himself or somebody else.

    • Raina says:

      I promise you this is not to do with age-ism discrimination, but, at a certain point, every person should be required to take their driving test again by simple common sense.
      Some of these older people are worse than a drunk driver.

      The royal service better put this on a leash. I get he’s not the one that likes the word ‘no’…
      Nor do I. But I’m not a spoilt, pompous ass and can reason.
      Take his license away and tell him to sit down.
      Most elderly people barely have a way to get their groceries.
      Here comes this one….just demanding that he gets what he wants while behaving recklessly as driver with no care of anyone else. Royal family entitlement .

      They royals were more concerned with dowmplaying Philip’s customary accident than recognizing who was hurt in the other car, one of which a child was in with a passenger breaking her wrist.
      In the real world: we do more than cover up.
      We, ideally, apologize, help financially, accept responsibility.
      And, not hide. I get it; You’re 238 years old. Time to call a secret service/uber.
      You don’t like it? That’s fine. You have a majority of things that have to go your way.
      And we don’t like a delusional blind guy older than stone navigating a vehicle.
      Were these women/child even compensated?
      Did they get a new car the next morning, too?

  3. Enough S Enough says:

    FFS this is a potential matter of life and death.

    But God Forbid anyone hold him accountable to anything but his privilege.

    Silly peasants….

    When the accident first happened, I couldn’t help but wonder — had any fatalities happened — how long the conspiracy theories would pop up, insisting someone was trying to bump off Prince P? As opposed to the truth — a stubborn man who’s lived a life of absolute privilege refusing to do anything that doesn’t conform to his whim — even if it breaks laws or could kill, maim or hospitalize someone.

  4. Thaisajs says:

    He could kill someone. It’s a miracle those two ladies and the 10-month-old baby weren’t seriously hurt. They need to take his car keys away. I don’t care what sort of hissy fit he throws. God, he’s always been such a disaster. The Queen puts up with a lot.

    • Tanguerita says:

      Well, the Queen decided to marry him – he’s always been known for being an asshole, it wasn’t something that had emerged over the years.

    • Tina says:

      I’ve been a Philip apologist for a long time and still think there’s a lot to him, but he kind of has been an arsehole his whole life. A war hero, a dedicated public servant, a racist, a philanderer…and always an arsehole.

  5. OriginalLala says:

    Entitled, rich white man does whatever the eff he wants regardless of consequences to others – rinse and repeat…

    • RunTrain says:

      Exactly! Entitled jerk wont stop until he kills someone, and maybe not even then.
      This incident really shows how entitled and “let them eat cake” all the royals are. Any actor or politician would have had a public mea culpa, and promise to not to do this again. Royals? “Go kill someone, Philip. The peasants dont matter.”

  6. aquarius64 says:

    If Philip causes a fatality in the next accident the damage will be deep for the BRF. And people are screeching the biracial divorced American will cause the downfall of the House of Windsor.

  7. lucy2 says:

    Take his keys. Disable his car(s). Lock the gates. Do something.

    I can’t believe their PR team was so foolish as to not reach out to the accident victims.

    • Jan90067 says:

      Seriously, I don’t think even taking his license or his keys will work. He’d force them off of some underling working the estate, who’d be afraid of being sacked if he didn’t “follow orders” from PP.

      Nope, ONLY ONE person can order him off the roads, and she’s famous for playing ostrich until she literally can’t anymore, and is *forced* to do something. Also, in regards to PP, she is is used to giving into him as “head of the household”. They’ve been married, what, 70 yrs now? Habits are hard to break.

  8. MrsBanjo says:

    Entitled asshole acts like an entitle asshole, and won’t likely suffer any consequences.

  9. Jen says:

    If it weren’t for his lifetime patterns of being an ass, I would worry that this was a sign of mental decline. No, just an entitled ass being an entitled ass.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      He has always driven as if he’s the only person on the road – there was an incident in the last 80s where he literally drove in the middle of the road and whilst chatting with his passager, he crossed over into the opposing lane and almost had a head-on collision with another car!

      Him continuing to drive in the manner he is accustomed to, i.e. as if he is the only person on the road, is a disaster waiting to happen. He’s been involved in several collisions and near misses since the 1940s and he’s never changed.

      This is just the first time that the accident was rather serious and the first time that the police became involved (to my knowledge).

  10. Sayrah says:


  11. Melody calder says:

    I’m a little stunned…. they publicly announced he drives alone without body guards.. how is this info not a security risk? They just told the bad guys to come sit around wherever he is and they will find him alone eventually

  12. asdfa says:

    what an asshole.

  13. Giddy says:

    It Is often a very difficult thing to take away an older parent’s driving privileges. My 90 year old father-in-law lived in a small town in Texas. We were very worried because he began getting lost, and then had a wreck. So my husband got the county Sheriff to come by and take his license. The Sheriff “confiscated” the car keys, then told my father-in-law that he sure would hate to take him in, but if he or any of his men heard that my father-in-law was driving, he would be arrested. That was the end of our problem, and there wasn’t anger and resentment within the family.

  14. Liz version 700 says:

    The only good I see out of this mess is that Meghan and Kate get a slight reprieve from the “cat fighting SIL stories.” This is a hot mess.

    • Blahblahblah says:

      Oh no MM is being blamed for murder and drought because she likes avocado. She will never get a break.

    • Blahblahblah says:

      Oh no MM is being blamed for murder and drought because she likes avocado toast. She will never get a break.

      • Other Renee says:

        Blahblahblah, I read that too and realized sadly that she will be blamed for any and all ills of British society. Also sadly was the amount of vitriol aimed at the victim by the trolls for blabbing to the media. I’m glad she keeps talking. Maybe by keeping the story alive they can get the selfish p—k off the road once and for all.

      • PrincessK says:

        Yeah, Meghan will soon be blamed for climate change.

    • Royalwatcher says:

      Blahblahblah – I saw that story too. That headline is so freaking disgusting. That really sums up the Daily Heil and their Meghan coverage. Gross and despicable. I wish this site would stop using them for stories.

      And, I’d disagree, Liz 700, I’d say the ‘Meghan is causing famine, drought, and WWIII’ stories will actually INCREASE in order to knock Philip off the front pages.

  15. Original Jenns says:

    I can’t remember if I read it here, or another site/commentator, but they had sources (neighbors and official) that said that the royals are so used to driving with roads cleared and with such authority, that Philip just continues to drive as if he’s the only one on the road, and everyone else will just get out of his way because of who he is. Hearing that, I have no doubt he wasn’t blinded by sun glare or didn’t see the car. He just kept driving because everyone will stop automatically for him. If his age isn’t a factor, his mentality and entitlement will be what gets someone killed. And where the hell are his guards? I can’t imagine there shouldn’t be one in the car with him, wherever he’s going. If he’s giving them the slip, then there’s a lot more mentally to worry about, and he needs to be watched like a hawk. At minimum, hide the keys.

    • jan90067 says:

      The woman in the other car did come out to say it was NOT sunny at that point in the afternoon, so he was *not* blinded by sunlight. He just didn’t look properly, or misjudged the distance of the other car, and pulled out into the main road.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      There’s an article in The Daily Beast by Tom Sykes about Philip’s driving habits – with a number of stories about crashes and near misses + a quote from an unnamed courtier that essentially says that he’s arrogant and entitled.

      I can’t put in a link because then the post would never get past moderation.

  16. Rosie says:

    He was wearing a seat belt in the accident and after hanging suspended is probably a bit sore from the accident. I bet that’s why he has ditched the seat belt. It’s embarrassing, they need to do something to stop him if he won’t listen to advice.

  17. noway says:

    I can only say this since no one has been killed yet, but isn’t it interesting how even the royal family has issues with stopping an older parent from driving. We had to pull the spark plugs out of my mom’s car, but she only had one. I’m just fully announcing to my kid, I’ll give up driving whenever you want. It’s nerve wracking. I’m ready for self driving cars or give me Uber or Lyft any day of the week or my kid chauffeuring me around while I pretend to listen to her playing on my phone.

    For the third story today, what is wrong with the people handling PR today. Did they forget how to craft a good message or do we all just live in the age of Trump where Up is Down and vise versa.

  18. Jay says:

    Forcibly. Take. This. Racist. Ghoul’s. License. Away.

    • Royalwatcher says:

      I don’t think it’s a matter of the license though. Do you really think that having no license would stop him? IMO, it’s a matter of the rest of the family – starting with his wife, then his children – standing up to him. Take away ALL the keys, lock up the the cars, get him a 24/7 minder who he’s not allowed to fire, or all of the above. Clearly there needs to be a more hand-on approach with him.

    • Mego says:

      It wouldn’t make a lick of difference. Do you imagine he would be ticketed or put in jail for not complying?

  19. Evie says:

    He’s just lucky the two women were not seriously hurt and especially that the nine month old infant in the other car was unhurt. If the baby had been seriously injured or died, the Royals would be suffering far more backlash than the female passenger in the other vehicle making the rounds of the UK chat shows for her 15 minutes of fame. If the Queen can’t or won’t bring herself to take the keys away, then the Royal Family should choose a family member to go to Phillip and tell him his driving days are over. nominate Princess Anne. She’s one tough cookie and Phillip’s favorite. Bet she would make him listen.

  20. nucks says:

    JHC this royal PR team is the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

  21. JRenee says:

    This is selfish and extremely sad.

  22. Uppenyrcraut says:

    Too bad old man, we all have to do things we dont want to. Get over yourself