Prince Philip, 97, Gives Up Driver’s License After Crash

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Carl De Souza/Getty Images

Prince Philip has decided to stop driving at the age of 97, less than a month after he was involved in a collision that left two women injured, Buckingham Palace said Saturday.

The palace said in a statement that "after careful consideration," Queen Elizabeth II's husband "has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license."

Philip was behind the wheel of a Land Rover near the royal family's Sandringham estate in eastern England when he smashed into another car on Jan. 17. Philip had to be helped out of his overturned vehicle but wasn't injured. Two women in the other car were injured, though not seriously, and a 9-month-old baby boy was unhurt.

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Emma Fairweather, who suffered a broken wrist in the Jan. 17 accident, told the Sunday Mirror newspaper that giving up his license is "the right thing to do. Undoubtedly the roads will be safer now."

Philip was photographed driving again two days later, without a seatbelt. Police said they offered him "suitable words of advice" after that.

The prince was not charged in the crash. Police said he and the other driver were both given breath tests for alcohol and passed.

In a letter of apology to one of the injured women, Philip said he was dazzled by the sun when he pulled onto a main road near the royal retreat, 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of London.

He told Emma Fairweather, who suffered a broken wrist in the crash, that "I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences." The letter was published by a newspaper.

There is no upper age limit for licensing drivers in Britain, although drivers over 70 are required to renew their licenses every three years and tell authorities about any medical conditions that might raise safety issues.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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