Prince Philip is back behind the wheel. Just 48 hours after a serious accident near Sandringham, the 97-year old Duke of Edinburgh was spotted driving another Land Rover, the Telegraph reports. The photos show that he was driving without a seat belt.
As the Telegraph notes, on Thursday, the Queen’s consort crashed into another car but was able to walk away from the wreckage unscathed.
“On doctor’s advice, the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn this morning for a precautionary check-up,” a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace said. “This confirmed His Royal Highness had no injuries of concern. The Duke has returned to Sandringham.”
The same can’t be said for the passengers of the car that Philip hit, although their injuries were minor. Police say that one passenger sustained a broken wrist and that the driver suffered cuts on her knee as a result of the crash. Thankfully a nine-month-old baby who was traveling with them was unhurt.
— ITV News (@itvnews) January 19, 2019
The palace spokesperson confirmed that Prince Philip has contacted them and shared “his well-wishes.” He reportedly told the person who helped him out of the car that he was dazzled by the sun. He was spotted wearing sunglasses today while driving.
Lizzie Robinson, royal producer at ITV News tweeted that the duke had taken and passed a requisite police eye examination which is compulsory for investigations into car crashes.
A source confirmed tonight that the Duke of Edinburgh took and passed a police eyesight test today. This test is standard procedure for an investigation of this nature. #PrincePhilip
— Lizzie Robinson (@LizzieITV) January 19, 2019
The accident nevertheless raises questions about whether the duke is too old to be driving since he’ll be a centenarian in three years. His wife, Queen Elizabeth, 92, also drives and she’s received lots of criticism in the past for refusing to wear a seat belt. The Telegraph reports that she was also seen driving around Sandringham on Saturday and her seat belt was on. If she gets into an accident, the Queen doesn’t have to worry about being charged because her role as monarch means that she is exempt from being a defendant in criminal and civil courts
As for Prince Philip, one lawer told the Sun that he could be charged with driving without due care. The penalty for that charge is an “unlimited fine.” He could avoid the fine by surrendering his license. Given the Duke of Sussex’s fierce independent streak, he’ll probably bristle at doing that.
Whether he’s charged or not will depend on the passengers of the other car, the Sun reports.
“They might say, ‘We don’t care who he is’,” said celebrity attorney, Nick Freeman, who’s also known as Mr. Loophole. “They might think at his age, at his position, he could afford a driver, he’s got all the facilities, he shouldn’t be risking the lives of others. They might push for prosecution.”