Prince Philip Avoids Prosecution in January Car Crash

Prince Philip was involved in a car accident in January after he hit a car while leaving the Sandringham estate, but the 97-year-old royal has avoided prosecution in the crash, the Crown Prosecution Services announced on Thursday.

"The CPS has carefully reviewed material submitted by the police in relation to a traffic collision on the A149 on 17 January this year," Chris Long, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS East of England said in the report. "We took into account all of the circumstances in this case, including the level of culpability, the age of the driver and the surrender of the driving licence."

Philip ultimately gave up his driver's license nearly one month after the crash, voluntarily surrendering his license over the weekend.

"We have decided that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute," Long continued. "All those involved in the collision have been informed and provided with a full explanation in writing."

The report also noted that "any decision by the CPS does not imply any finding concerning guilt or criminal conduct," and that the decision was made after considering all the evidence submitted by the police and in accordance with the two-stage test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

On Jan. 17, Philip was driving a Land Rover when he was reportedly "dazzled" by sunlight and hit a Kia sedan while leaving the Sandringham estate. Two women were in the vehicle along with the driver's nine-month old baby.

According to the BBC,the Duke of Edinburgh was driving alone and his protection team was behind him in a separate vehicle. After the crash, the Land Rover flipped and a member of the public removed the royal from the wreckage of the car. One of the women broke her wrist, while the car's driver suffered cuts to her knee. The baby was uninjured.

Philip was also uninjured, though he was examined.

"He saw a doctor as a precaution, and the doctor confirmed he was not injured," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said, via E! News.

Less than 48 hours after the crash, Philip was spotted behind the wheel again, driving without a seatbelt on.

Emma Fairweather, who broke her wrist in the accident, previously told the Sunday Mirror that she had not received an apology from the Duke, but Philip did send her a letter that was later published in the Sunday Mirror.


"I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads," the letter read. "It was a bright sunny day and at about three in the afternoon, the sun was low over the Wash. In other words, the sun was shining low over the main road. In normal conditions I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming from the Dersingham direction, but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences."

Photo Credit: Getty / WPA Pool