Helen Holland’s family ‘doesn’t blame’ Duchess Sophie for Holland’s death

Just days after King Charles’s coronation, the Duchess of Edinburgh was traveling through London with her police escort. One of the police motorcyclists was traveling at high speed (apparently, the whole motorcade was speeding) and the police motorcyclist struck an 81-year-old woman named Helen Holland. Holland was apparently thrown 40 feet from the force of the impact. She was hospitalized and in a coma for a few weeks before she passed away this week. Sophie issued two statements – one statement days after her RPO struck Holland, and one statement after Holland passed away. There’s been no mention of a formal apology from Sophie or the police, nor has there been any offer to take care of funeral costs, nor Sophie meeting with the family. Sophie has just been carrying on like nothing happened, enjoying horse shows and garden parties. Well, now Helen Holland’s family says that they don’t blame Sophie. Convenient. I guess the check is in the mail.

The family of a pensioner mown down and killed by a police motorcycle escorting the Duchess of Edinburgh have insisted they don’t blame Sophie for the tragedy – as they laid the blame squarely with police. Helen Holland, 81, clung on to life for nearly two weeks before the agonising decision was made to turn off her life support machine on Tuesday. She had suffered massive brain trauma, as well as broken bones and internal injuries, after being flung 40ft down the busy road in west London as Sophie, 58, left a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

During a visit to the scene of the tragedy, Mrs Holland’s grieving son Martin sought to show his support for Sophie, as he declared: ‘It’s not Sophie’s fault. We don’t blame her – the police did it. This is not anti-royal, no way. My mother loved the royals.’

Mr Holland, a project director for a building firm, has been calling for reforms to police escorts since the horrifying collision. He said: ‘It’s outriders going at high speed to stop traffic at lights [before the VIP sweeps through]. They’ve got to think of a better way. I know the royals need to be protected but they need to do it so it doesn’t endanger the public.’

The police bike hit Mrs Holland at a junction in Earl’s Court in west London on the afternoon of May 10. She died on Tuesday, in a revelation that ‘deeply saddened’ the Duchess of Edinburgh. Today, Mrs Holland’s son Martin, 57, daughter-in-law Lisa, 51, and sister Dorothy, 88, paid an emotional visit to the scene of the collision. They attached a bouquet of flowers to a lamppost by the crossing and laid a single stem in the road in memory to the beloved pensioner.

Dorothy, who Mrs Holland had been visiting before the fatal smash, said her younger sister was well aware of the risks presented by the busy three-lane route in Earl’s Court, saying: ‘She’s been here many, many times. She knew how dangerous is was. She wasn’t in any hurry. She wanted to leave early because the trains were funny that day and she didn’t want to rush. She was a cautious person and very conscious of the road.’

Dorothy, who didn’t want her surname to be used, revealed a police patrol car refused to take her to hospital as she struggled to hail a taxi after learning her sister was slipping away. ‘I couldn’t get a taxi so I flagged a police car down. I said my sister was dying and I couldn’t find a taxi. He said “We’re not a taxi service” and drove off. I don’t blame them. He didn’t know who I was and I was probably incoherent. I expect I was crying at the time. I can’t remember.’

There was no contact from the Met until Wednesday this week, when an email arrived. Mr Holland is not reading it until he is with his three brothers but said the subject mentioned ‘deepest sympathies’. The Duchess has offered her ‘deepest condolences’ to the family and is understood to be planning to speak to them privately.

[From The Daily Mail]

The Holland family is more forgiving than me. In their shoes, I would have already met with lawyers and issued some strongly-worded statements about why the f–k does Sophie need this kind of police escort, the kind which puts the public in mortal danger. While Sophie wasn’t driving, it’s asinine that she hasn’t shown more sympathy for the 81-year-old woman mowed down in the street by her police escort. Again, think about how the media would be reacting if one of the Sussexes’ security people mowed down a senior.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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65 Responses to “Helen Holland’s family ‘doesn’t blame’ Duchess Sophie for Holland’s death”

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  1. Tessa says:

    So a motorcade is deployed to take a privileged royal to and from a garden party! Absurd.

    • Dot Gingell says:

      There was no garden party on 10th May, she was at one the day before. There’s a cover-up going on over why she was speeding through London when her only official engagement that day was early evening in Windsor.

    • Barb Mill says:

      I thought it was to one of Lady Louise horse shows. Not a Royal event so don’t want to put any shade on Louise. I’m sure Sophie has to feel horrible.

  2. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Our presidential motorcade doesn’t even speed like that. No excuses. None.

    • Tessa says:

      I have watched in person a presidential motorcade and no way do they speed.

    • Tacky says:

      I live in DC and, yes, they speed. The difference is they position uniformed police officers along the route to keep pedestrians from crossing the street while the motorcade is in progress.

      • Tessa says:

        Also in emergencies when Reagan had to get to a hospital stat

      • girl_ninja says:

        This. President Obama came to my city for an event and “the Beast” flew by us bystanders. But we had police and streets closed off for about 30 minutes before hand to get the crowds contained and keep people safe. Also, I imagine the reason the motorcade is going so fast is so that any possible snipers are not able to get off a good shot. Of course that last part may be all the action movies I’ve watched.

        Ole racist Soph is NOT a diplomat or political figure or government official. She’s just some chick who married into the royal family. A bunch of welfare recipient do nothings who live in castles. Period. This is a disgrace and a heart breaking shame that an elderly woman died for something completely preventable.

        The family is probably scared to say what they really feel and afraid of possible blow back. That’s why they demurred.

      • Barb Mill says:

        I was in DC visiting our kids and grandkids and we got stuck at the National Art Gallery, our uber driver could not get to us and it was crazy how fast the entourage were travelling.

  3. Cassie says:

    They will get a private payout .

    • Snuffles says:

      It’s the royal way. Makes you wonder how many millions they have paid out to silence or cover up royal family fuck ups.

    • Tacky says:

      The pay out will be coming from the police. Not only did they hit this poor woman, they refused to render aid. Total dereliction of duty.

  4. Tessa says:

    It looks like she’s imitating Kate with those grins

  5. HamsterJam says:

    According to KFC “royals” do not need to be protected, only “working royals” do.

    This begs the question, what is so essential about providing photo opportunities that life and death decisions are made based upon whether or not you are currently providing a photo opportunity or providing photo opportunities in general?

  6. The Old Chick says:

    Paid off presumably. The royals are absolute garbage.

  7. Jais says:

    Couldn’t be me. I’d have some strong words. They’re brushing this aside because the woman was 80 and it’s ageist. She could have lived to 90 or more. Imagine if this had been a child in a pedestrian walk. Either way, hopefully the motorcades will look at this incident and drive slower and with more care. Which they should have done in the effing first place.

    • MrsBanjo says:

      As this isn’t the first time this has happened, it’s extremely unlikely they’ll slow down in the future.

    • Tessa says:

      I don’t think Sophie is paid that much attention to earn a motorcade

      • Tacky says:

        I assume the threat assessment against the entire BRF, including Harry and Meghan, was heightened during the Chubbly because of the royals visibility.

    • SIde Eye says:

      Thank you @Jais! Her sister is 88. There’s longevity there.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Jais, neither me as well. Brushing Ms. Hollands death as she was an elderly woman, typical of the BaRF! How is it that we have not heard a peep from Sophiesta? Did she even visit Ms. Holland in the hospital. Did Sophiesta make contact with her family once she was struck? And why on earth would Sophiesta need a police escort motorcade?? She’s not of great importance, except in her own head. Someone granted her motorcade and I would be asking why.

  8. Amy Bee says:

    If he had attacked Sophie the press would have come down on him like a tonne of bricks.

    • Jojo says:

      💯 Exactly this. Everyone in the UK has seen what happens to those who challenge the status quo. Look at poor Ngozi Fulani who found this out the hard way. If he’d been critical the BM would have propelled this whole family into a negative spotlight faster than they could blink.

  9. Andy Dufresne says:

    And this is why the monarchy will live on in Britain smh…..

  10. Steph says:

    They are too forgiving. Imagine seeing an 88yo crying hysterically and not helping her? Dorothy acting like this is completely justified is baffling to me.

  11. Brassy Rebel says:

    If an outrider in a Sussex motorcade had killed someone, there would be serious calls for H&M to be charged with murder. Not saying that should happen here, but the “business as usual” approach and hand waving make everyone look indifferent to a human being’s accidental, completely avoidable death.

  12. 5pibs says:

    I’m sorry, did I just read that the sister flagged down a police officer when the woman was dying, and the officer basically told her, a citizen, to f- off? Seems like people should have a much bigger problem with that response than anything else about this story…

    • Laura D says:

      @Spibs – that’s the part I don’t understand either. I get that due to security a motorcade must not stop but, surely they could have radioed back and told someone about the the incident? A quick message would have advised the police to look out for an injured woman. It’s a mess all round and heartbreaking for the family.

      However, in saying that I don’t like how all this is taking away from Sophie having a police escort for no reason. She’s the King’s SIL and not his DIL. Her children are so far down the line of succession that they’ll barely make the footnote of any history book. Yet (as others have said) somehow she warrants more protection than the king’s son – even when he has offered to pay for it!

    • Julie says:

      i think that what she meant, was that when she learnt that her sister was dying in the hospital, she tried to ask a police car on the road to take her to see her sister as she couldnt find a taxi to take her there and the police man refused.

      • BeanieBean says:

        That’s it, the flagging down of the officer didn’t happen the day of the accident, it happened days later after the fatally injured woman’s hospitalization. And in this tiny isolated instance, the cop was right. As for the rest of these quotes, these people were way too nice; this is what veneration of the BRF gets you.

      • Steph says:

        @beaniebean why do you think the officer was right here? They aren’t cabs but couldn’t offer to help her at all?

      • Becks1 says:

        @Steph because its not the job of police to drive someone to the hospital to visit a dying relative because they can’t find a cab. This was not the day of the incident, it was days later, she was trying to find a cab and couldn’t so asked a police officer to take her instead.

        I can’t imagine a police officer saying yes to that.

      • Vera says:

        The police might not be a ‘taxi service’ but they could had been more helpful. But that’s the Met for you. She wasnt a peaceful protestor they could beat up and arrest.

  13. SarahCS says:

    This sounds like a family struggling to come to terms with their sudden loss and the grief that goes with it.

    There is absolutely a wider conversation to be had about how this type of work is carried out and its necessity at all never mind what the great rush was to get her somewhere. Is she that much of a high risk target that they need to race through the streets of London? I doubt it. This is much bigger than Sophie and I can understand the family not fixing their attention on her.

    • ML says:

      This is what it sounds like to me, too Sarah. If (for now in any case) the Hollands see the officer as the villain since he actively sped and struck Helen, that is completely their right. As far as I am aware, the officer in question has not been named, nor is there any news on if he (?) has been removed from duty while this is being investigated? Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the officer should not have been speeding, and Sophie cannot magic up a motorcade all on her own: who granted permission and organized this?

  14. Becks1 says:

    So he’s not blaming Sophie but he IS blaming her motorcade obviously. Which begs the question we’ve been asking….why does sophie need a motorcade? Why does she need one that travels at such unsafe speeds? Why does the wife of the…..13th in line (if my counting is correct, ha) need that kind of security, when supposedly the 5th in line does not need any kind of security?

    • ML says:

      Excellent questions, Becks1! There is absolutely no transparency with regards to the level of threat Sophie is under. The Dutch Prime Minister, for example, is under threat (as are many members of Parliament), and yet he is sometimes still able to bike to work. With the amount of CCTVs in London, surely she doesn’t need a police escort?! How much money does it cost to travel by escort? Who authorizes said travel and how are they making sure it’s only used as permitted? The oversight and accountability for both the royals and the Met and consequences for misusing these services are not being reported on at all.

    • Lauren says:

      I wonder if this will come up in Prince Harry’s lawsuit related to getting security while in the UK

    • Sunday says:

      I really wonder if Sophie is being made the scapegoat here and it was actually someone else’s motorcade. Were any of the other royals in the area for an event that afternoon? I know they prefer helicopters but if they were flitting about London for some reason (out with a mistress, perhaps) then it would make sense. Nobody actually saw her, it’s not like the license plate of her car was SOPHIE. It could have actually been anyone, and that would also account for the late statement (they needed time to get someone to crawl under the bus for them). IDK, I don’t doubt everyone but Harry being allowed every perk in the book, but something about this whole thing seems odd. Plus, I highly doubt Sophie would send “paparazzi” goons to terrorize Meghan and Harry for a cover story, but I can think of other royals who would absolutely do that, and the timing of all this just seems awfully convenient.

      • Lucky Charm says:

        “as Sophie, 58, left a garden party at Buckingham Palace.”

        I tried looking but couldn’t find any mention of a garden party at Buckingham palace on May 10th. I’m leaning heavily towards it was either William or Andrew and they’re just using Sophie as cover because in their mind she’s bland and harmless, who would be mad at her?

      • Jojo says:

        I think this too. Using bland Sophie minimises headlines and awkward questions.

    • HamsterJam says:

      Exactly, if RAVEC says that the 5th in line to the throne does not need security it is a done deal, no security for anyone below 4th in line.

  15. WaterDragon says:

    That has got to be the most hideous and unflattering color ever for Sophie. Actually, I can’t think of anyone who would be flattered by it.

    Why do so many people wear such dreary and insipid tones? Even stars with professional stylists do this with their ultra-pale and totally dreary “designer” clothing.

    Totally enervating.

  16. aquarius64 says:

    I think the Palace spoke with the grieving family and offered compensation in exchange of no public attacks on Sophie. The comms had to have seen Sophie was trending on Twitter for a couple of days and the comments are brutal. Sophie was branded heartless (I’m being kind) for not eeaching out to the family and questions were raised first the need of a motorcade. The motor cop will be thrown under the double decker bus.

  17. SIde Eye says:

    They didn’t radio back for help. Sophie went to her stupid garden party as this woman is in a coma the next day so she could wear her ugly ass Nellie Oleson dress and cheese because she’s arrived and over the moon that she is Kate adjacent. She never came to the hospital to check on this woman. Just went about her day going to horse shows and other useless crap.

    Then, when the woman died, she sent AN EMAIL. A F**CKING EMAIL to the family whose loved one was taken suddenly and for no damn reason other than the WIFE OF THE 13TH IN LINE to the throne apparently needed a police escort. I wouldn’t know Sophie if she delivered a UPS package to my door. I comment on her bad fashion all the time and yet, I don’t know this bish – she is GENERIC. She blends in. There is nothing remarkable about her. She could walk into the supermarket tomorrow and shop herself, no one would know her ass. Tell me again why she needs a police escort while Harry and Meghan – who have real targets on their backs and are the most recognizable people in the world do not. Make it make sense.

    For being people who pride themselves on having such perfect breeding and lay claim to being the veritable epitome and class, distinction, and manners – I mean they are ROYALS and superior to all of us, sending an email in this situation seems pretty rude, insensitive, low brow eh? Classless bunch.

    • Jojo says:

      There’s also crickets on the left behind coronation barriers that were still forcing pedestrians to peer out into that, already unsafe, road before crossing days after the event.

  18. Shawna says:

    “We’re not a taxi service.” Hope this officer’s boss hears about that.

    • SIde Eye says:

      Same here Shawna! What a rude comment to make to an elderly person in obvious distress. How about “what is going on and are you okay why do you need to get to the hospital?” Maybe she needed medical attention herself and he just drove off and left her there! And it’s not being a “taxi service” to drive an 88 year old woman to the hospital whose sister just got hit by a motorcade. Time was of the essence. This whole story is just infuriating. I can’t imagine responding this way in this very situation. It’s unbelievable.

      • Shawna says:

        Exactly! She was clearly in distress.

      • Becks1 says:

        No, this was not the day of the incident. It was a few days later, the sister got a call that the victim was dying, and she couldn’t find a cab, so she asked a random police officer to take her to the hospital.

        Maybe he could have been nicer in his response, but I don’t think he was wrong for refusing.

  19. Samestelles says:

    There is something a bit tacky about the press releasing an article to improve Sophie’s image when a woman is dead.

  20. dido says:

    If this were Harry and Meghan, there would be thousands of articles about how “they have blood on their hands.” I think the same about the woman who died by suicide during Kate’s pregnancy. It’s indirect, but these deaths wouldn’t have happened if the royals didn’t exist. Reporters needs to be putting more pressure on the royals to at least SEEM empathetic and sorry. This is so pathetic.

  21. Tursitops says:

    So what? The criminal law is not dependent on feelings. If they did something inappropriate or illegal then they should be held to account, regardless of who they are or how the victim’s family feels. Under parliamentary systems, it’s not the victim who decides whether charges go forward.

    If they did nothing wrong then they have nothing to fear. Same laws for everyone.

  22. Gubbinal says:

    I’ve been following the Royal Family for decades and today is the first day I found out that they take “high speed” cars and police escorts to flower shows.
    The RF should get high speed only if they are in an ambulance like everyone else. The moral optics are really staggering.

  23. tamsin says:

    I don’t think a penny ever comes from the royal purse to any subject. It looks like the family may have a case for a lawsuit. Not sure how things like this work in UK.

  24. QuiteContrary says:

    So the son said “I know the royals need to be protected but they need to do it so it doesn’t endanger the public.’

    Why does this NOBODY need to be protected? Who gives a flying eff about Sophie?

    This is just appalling. And the placid acceptance of so many British people is just so frustrating.

  25. HennyO says:

    The B*tch didn’t show her face at the woman’s hospital bed where she laid unconscious for almost two weeks. And she even haven’t call her family yet! She is ‘thinking of calling’. Even her statement, after the woman’s dead, is about HER. Nobody wants to know how Sophie ‘feels’. This royal family is a bunch of self-centred, cold, unhuman creatures.

    These instances come to mind:
    It took a week (and public uproar) for QE2 to show her face or say anything human when Diana died. It took her husband prince Phillip weeks (after the woman complained of the no-contact to different tabloids), before his courtiers released a statement on his behave, after he hit a woman’s car with his landrover (and left her with a broken arm, car damage and woman and kid traveling with her shaken).

  26. Kkat says:

    I really think its a cover up for probably William, he was in the area around that time

  27. ales says:

    She was only a commoner, plenty more of them, no concern needed. If the BRF cared they would have said and done something, absolutely no respect or regard has been shown by Sophie and her speeding entourage.

  28. Kim says:

    Republic now.
    If the british economy was doing better I think there would be more uproar. No one wants to rock the boat.

    But if it was Sophia motorcade she is to blame. Her motorcade hit someone before. She already should’ve told them to take it easy.

    Sophia isn’t a real target anyway. At this point Anne isn’t even a real target except at an actually event. The only people who need a motorcade are chuck, Camilla, william, his kids, Henry and his family, Andrew and Edward. And in a few years you can make a case that no one is thinking about Edward.