Duke of Edinburgh surrenders driving licence as prosecutors consider crash

The duke has surrendered his licence Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

The Duke of Edinburgh surrendered his driving licence as prosecutors considered whether to bring charges over a crash that injured two women.

Philip, 97, voluntarily gave up his credentials to Norfolk Police on Saturday.

The force said a file on the investigation into the crash last month had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

A CPS statement said the file would be reviewed before a decision to charge or not was brought, and noted that prosecutors “will take this development into account”.

One lawyer had previously suggested the duke could avoid any potential prosecution for driving without due care and attention by giving up his licence.

Philip apologised for his part in the accident on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk when his Land Rover Freelander collided with another car, leaving two women needing hospital treatment.

On Saturday, a statement from Buckingham Palace said: “After careful consideration, the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence.”

Norfolk Police confirmed Philip had “voluntarily surrendered his licence to officers”.

Discussing the investigation, a CPS spokeswoman said: “We review each file carefully before a decision is made and will take this development into account.”

Philip’s driving woes began on January 17 when his car flipped over after he pulled out into a busy A road and collided with a Kia, carrying a nine-month old boy, his mother and another passenger.

The Duke of Edinburgh behind the wheel last May Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

He escaped injury, but passenger Emma Fairweather broke her wrist and called for the duke to be prosecuted if he was found to be at a fault.

On Saturday, she told the Sunday Mirror: “Undoubtedly the roads will be safer now. It [the decision] won’t have been easy for him to make as it is a loss of independence. But he can work around it.”

In a letter dated January 21, Philip wished Ms Fairweather a “speedy recovery” and said he “failed to see the car coming”.

He blamed the low, bright sun for obscuring his vision, adding he was “very contrite about the consequences”.

The crash did not immediately put Philip off driving.

Wearing tinted glasses, he was photographed at the wheel of a replacement Land Rover while not wearing a seatbelt in the ensuing days.

Philip was roundly criticised and police issued him with “suitable words of advice” and said “any appropriate action” would be taken if necessary.

At the time of the collision, celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman said Philip could face a prosecution for driving without due care and attention, which carries an unlimited fine.

But the lawyer, dubbed Mr Loophole, said the duke could avoid prosecution by surrendering his licence because it would decrease the chances of a case being in the public interest.

AA president Edmund King said the decision to quit driving can be a difficult one.

“Anybody who has had an elderly parent give up their driving licence will know that it can be upsetting for them and normally it’s done through common sense and encouragement from family members and their doctor,” he said.