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Prince Philip, 97, Surrenders Driver’s License in Wake of Car Crash

Three weeks after he was involved in a car accident that sent a woman to the hospital with injuries, Prince Philip is giving up his driver’s license.

Buckingham Palace revealed the news on Saturday in a statement that said, “After careful consideration, the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license.”

Norfolk Police subsequently confirmed that Prince Philip had, in fact, handed his driver’s license over to local officers. According to the Associated Press, prosecutors have said they will weigh this development in deciding whether to charge the royal over the Jan. 17 crash.

BBC royal correspondent Johnny Dymond said the decision over whether Prince Philip would hand over his license was left up to Philip himself. “The duke is reported to have acknowledged that the collision last month was his fault,” said Dymond, adding, “There was a fair deal of criticism of his decision to drive just two days after the crash. Now he has chosen to give up some of his independence and will have a driver from this point on.”

On Jan. 21, Philip wrote to Emma Fairweather, the woman injured in the crash, who had been traveling in a Kia with a mother and the mother’s 9-month-old son (neither of whom were injured).

In the letter, which was published by the Sunday Mirror, Philip wrote, “I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads… It was a bright and 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… but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.”

Fairweather, who had previously gone on record to say she felt as though the royal family had essentially shrugged her injuries off, told the Sunday Mirror she was impressed with the letter.

“I thought it was really nice that he signed off as ‘Philip’ and not the formal title,” she said. “I was pleasantly surprised because of the personalized nature.”

In the days immediately following the accident, the Norfolk Constabulary established that the drivers of both automobiles were given routine Breathalyzer tests and that both came back negative for intoxication.

Said the police at that time, “We are aware of the public interest in this case, however, as with any other investigation, it would be inappropriate to speculate on the causes of the collision until an investigation is carried out.”

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