Duchess Sophie’s police escort could face criminal charges in the death of a senior

Just a few days after King Charles’s coronation in May, the Duchess of Edinburgh was traveling through London by car, with a full police motorcade. On a street near Kensington Palace, a police motorcyclist struck an elderly woman at high speed. The 81-year-old woman, Helen Holland, was thrown yards away from the force of impact, and she was immediately hospitalized. She stayed in the hospital in a coma for about two weeks before passing away. Holland’s family made a public statement saying they don’t “blame” Sophie, but they did have significant questions about the accident and the police protection unit. Throughout it all, Sophie simply issued a couple of statements and carried on with her life, laughing it up at horse shows and garden parties. Well, now it looks like there will be a formal investigation into the police motocyclist.

A Metropolitan Police motorcyclist could face criminal charges over the death of an 81-year-old woman who was killed in a collision with the officer’s vehicle last month while they were part of an escort for the Duchess of Edinburgh. Helen Holland was struck at the junction of West Cromwell Road and Warwick Road in Earl’s Court, west London, on the afternoon of May 10. She suffered serious injuries and died two weeks later.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the constable has been told they are under criminal investigation for the offences of causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.

They are also being investigated for potential gross misconduct, although that does not mean that charges or disciplinary proceedings will follow.

Amanda Rowe, director at the IOPC, said: “Our thoughts remain with Ms Holland’s family, friends and everyone affected by her death. This is a tragic incident and it is important that we carry out a thorough, independent investigation to establish the full circumstances, which will include the actions and decision making of the officer under investigation.We have been in regular contact with Ms Holland’s family and we will keep them updated as our investigation progresses.”

“At the end of our investigation, we will decide whether to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision and whether the officer should face disciplinary proceedings.”

Investigators attended the scene and police body worn video footage has been reviewed. Witness accounts have also been taken following an appeal after the crash.

[From The Telegraph]

While ACAB, I find it interesting that it feels like this police motorcyclist is going to be held solely responsible when, clearly, he was part of the larger security unit for Sophie. I don’t know if every member of the protection unit was driving recklessly, but instead of having a conversation about why Sophie needs this kind of protection in her daily life, they’re just going to hang everything around this guy’s neck and call it a day. It’s also pretty f–king wild that Sophie hasn’t been hit with criticism whatsoever – I know I’m a broken record on this, but imagine how different the conversation would be if one of Prince Harry’s security people had struck and killed a senior.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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32 Responses to “Duchess Sophie’s police escort could face criminal charges in the death of a senior”

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  1. Nutella toast says:

    Yep, it’s definitely giving “….but he dared to wear a tan suit” vibes. There would be calls for Harry to be in jail.

  2. Nubia says:

    It has been crickets, I shudder to think the abuse Meghan would have received if this happened on her escort. There are times when the invisible contract is so clear to see its disturbing.

    • Moxylady says:

      I read somewhere – potentially completely false – that William was in the car. And Sophia was placed there by ghr media to protect the heir and questions.

  3. equality says:

    Since there have been incidents in the past with the motorcades leading to injury, the system itself should have been revised long ago. There is no emergency royal “work” that calls for high speeds to get there. I imagine the one cyclist who hit the woman was merely following instructions.

    • Jais says:

      Yes, shouldn’t they be looking into the overall operation and protocols for the whole motorcade system? I keep thinking about the fact that Harry’s security drivers in NY were going out of their way not to speed for this very reason. Once they saw their speeds going up on the FDR, that’s possibly why they circled back to a police station. Again, near-catastrophic was never hyperbole. This woman should still be with her family. Don’t even get me started on where this motorcade was actually going on that day and why it needed such high speeds for Sophie.

      • Denise says:

        There was no car chase in New York. A car can barely go five mph in the streets. All lies.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Denise, then why is the NYPD reviewing CCTV footage and the video that Harry and his bodyguard took with their phones? Why did one of the local stations report that they knew nothing about it until they were leaving and the security guard at the building across the street told them that the Paparazzi hit several parked cars there?

        You need to stop believing the UK media. Harry and Meghan never said it was a high speed chase. They said it was a car chase with almost catastrophic results. If one of the Paparazzi had hit someone on the sidewalk–yes, that would have been catastrophic. They almost hit two police officers.

        Try your disinformation elsewhere.

    • Tacky says:

      The speed of the motorcade is based on the security threat, not the importance of the event. I’m sure the threats to the family increased around the coronation because it was a high profile event.

      • equality says:

        And yet, they do slow WALKING events like a big parade of them at Easter and Christmas? And the coronation parade itself was NOT high speed. Explain that. There are other measures like the bullet-proofing of vehicles that can be taken WITHOUT endangering other lives.

    • VivaLasVirgos says:

      The RF view motorcades as taxis, where you hop in and state your desire to get to your location as quickly as possible. Now, taxis shouldn’t speed either, but they are a single vehicle.

      If one of the royals is late getting somewhere, they should have to suck it. No point in weaponizing your motorcade to score points with Chuck.

  4. HamsterJam says:

    The job description is to drive at high speed while constantly looking back at the car being shepherded. It is the job that should be on trial here.

    • Emme says:

      Indeed, @HamsterJam, as I posted in an earlier article William’s outrider also hit an elderly woman speeding through residential streets in June 2019.
      There is no need for ANY royal to be hurtled through residential streets. As it is, streets are cleared for them, so absolutely no need to speed. And quite rightly, royal escorts or not, if motorcyclists (or cars) drive above the speed limit they MUST be penalised like the rest of us would be if we broke the law too.

      • MipMip says:

        Interesting that William’s motorcade has hit someone before.

        It’s also interesting that Sophie wasn’t scheduled for any events at the time Helen Holland was hit.

        Interesting that the Edinburghs make good scapegoats.

        I can’t think of anything Sophie could have been doing at three in the afternoon that required a high-speed escort…

  5. Nanea says:

    We still haven’t heard why the wife of the new number 14 needed a police escort at all when she wasn’t doing anything that merited a mention in the CC.

    What are the BM helping the Essex-Edinburghs to hide from the taxpaying public?

  6. Amy Bee says:

    It’s interesting to see how muted the press is on this. It’s clear that although she doesn’t get the coverage she wants that she enjoys protection from press scrutiny. I agree with Kaiser that if this was Harry the press would be outraged and blaming him for Helen Holland’s death.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Agree @ Amy Bee!!! It’s always different rules for “certain” BaRF members…….

      I hope Sophiesta chokes on something, anything!


    • SAS says:

      The press would have been paying dodgy distant relatives and associates for wall-to-wall sob stories for months if it were H or M.

      I’m glad for Helen’s family that the press attention has been muted but I’m so angry at the injustice of the death. It shouldn’t have happened and it is totally appropriate for people to face criminal consequences.

  7. Tessa says:

    I don’t get why Sophie needs a police escort. Taxpayers pay for security.

  8. BothSidesNow says:

    I find it appalling and irrepressible that Sophiesta is walking away scott free without a care in the world. Attending events as IF her own escort had not just struck an 81yo elderly woman. Of course Ms. Holland wouldn’t survive that crash!!! How could she, how could anyone for that matter??

    Will they question as to WHY Sophiesta needed a police escort during non royal activities?? Of course not! This burns my arse 🤬🤬🤬🤬

  9. ML says:

    Personally, the reason Sophie had that police escort in the first place should be made public. So should the frequency in which they are utilized, the costs of using a motorcade in the first place, and, possibly, the threat level.
    In terms of the Holland family, they said that they did not hold Sophie responsible for Helen’s death: they held the Met responsible. This is exactly what the family said it wanted.

  10. Unblinkered says:

    A direct analogy here, the test for prosecution or not, is how in similar circumstances would a motorcycle courier a despatch rider be treated had he hit a pedestrian because he was ‘looking back’ as part of his job? The pedestrian stepping onto the road to cross despite sirens or his whistle is NOT a defence.
    The motorcyclist was at fault: a pedestrian died at what is one of the widest junctions in London because he drove without the necessary care & attention. Manslaughter, death by dangerous driving, is what the charge must be, and an immediate review of motorcycle police protocol must start now.
    Charles and The Prime Minister only should receive this escort through traffic.

  11. Chantal says:

    Glad to see the family is still demanding answers and demanding that someone be held accountable. I hope they keep putting pressure on them. That constable will likely be charged (rightly) but it doesn’t sound like the Met is taking any proactive steps regarding this case – is he/she on unpaid leave pending the results of the investigation (or whatever the UK equivalent is)? Meanwhile, the RF have apparently closed ranks and are protecting their own from any questions or scrutiny. They are disgusting.

  12. Brassy Rebel says:

    Can you say scapegoat? I really hope this so-called investigation doesn’t get deep sixed like the “investigation” into Charles’ bags of cash scandal.

    • BeanieBean says:

      We’ll get the results of the ‘Meghan is a bully’ investigation before we get these results.

  13. Mslove says:

    I’m sure this investigation will be swept under the rug, just like Cowmilla’s hit & run in 1997.

    • Monlette says:

      I just googled “Camilla hit and run” and that is wild. Let’s see if I have this straight.
      1) Camilla causes a head on collision on a remote country road leaving the other car on its side.
      2) Camilla flees to a nearby hill to call Charles to send a car to get her, despite having a cellphone signal at the site.
      3) Camilla returns to the other car, see the other driver trapped inside and screams.
      4) The car arrives for Camilla and she drives off without assisting the other driver.
      5) Some random passerbys come along later, notice an injured woman trapped in some wreckage and free her and report the accident.

      • Mslove says:

        There have been whispers that Sidepiece was intoxicated & that’s why she fled.

      • Michelle says:

        What kind of person leaves another human being trapped in a car after an accident? The Queen. Cowmilla is the worst.

      • bisynaptic says:

        I… did not know this. Holy cow.

  14. Lili says:

    i wonder who is in charge of the professional indemity insurance, the police force or the royal family, thats the only way change can happen someone get stung which then goes up the food chain

  15. Lucky Charm says:

    I think that the reason Sophie hasn’t said much is because it wasn’t really her motorcade. I think it was William’s and they’re just saying it was hers to protect him.

  16. AC says:

    I agree , If this incident happened anywhere outside the UK(caveat : anywhere with the exception of North Korea and other dictatorship countries), there would have been a lot of scrutiny and investigation. Imagine if this same thing happened to any of our govt officials motorcade and hit/killed an elderly person, it would have a public and media uproar.