Prince Philip has surrendered his drivers licence

The fiercely independent elderly royal will now have to rely on a driver.

Prince Philip has surrendered his driver’s licence.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the Duke of Edinburgh surrendered his licence on Saturday, saying in a statement: “After careful consideration the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence.”

According to the BBC, Norfolk Police confirmed that the duke had surrendered his licence to officers and it would be returned to the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).

The 97-year-old was involved in a car accident near Sandringham Estate in Norfolk on Thursday January 17, prompting many to question why the Duke was still driving at his age.

He had pulled out of a driveway on to a main highway – the A149 – and flipped his Land Rover after colliding with another vehicle – a Kia – that contained two mothers and a nine-month-old baby. Afterwards he claimed the sun had blinded him but the front seat passenger in the other vehicle, Emma Fairweather, said the conditions had been cloudy.

The questions turned to heavy criticism after Prince Philip was spotted back behind the wheel and without a seatbelt just two days after the accident.

Police had a word with the elderly royal, delivering “suitable words of advice”. Meanwhile, media reports emerged that Philip might have to surrender his license to avoid being prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.

Adding fuel to the drama, the front seat passenger of the Kia, Emma Fairweather, who broke her wrist in the collision, went public with her outrage that Prince Philip did not apologise immediately.

Fairweather told media she felt “lucky to be alive” and that she expected an apology from the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Duke had asked after the three occupants of the Kia, and the Queen’s lady in waiting had phoned to pass on the Queen’s best wishes, but Fairweather was incensed that she had not heard directly from the Duke.

A few days later Prince Philip sent a handwritten apology note to Fairweather and the driver of the Kia, Ellie Townsend.

The letter was dated January 21 and was said to be hand-delivered.

Prince Philip famously drove the Obamas (and the Queen) to lunch in 2016. The then US President and First Lady were on a brief visit to the UK, and Prince Philip drove the presidential couple and the Queen to lunch at Windsor Castle.

There is no legal age that motorists must stop driving at, but doctors can advise drivers to give up their entitlements.

If a driver decides to surrender their licence, or is advised to by a doctor, they must send a letter to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), accompanied by the existing licence.

Prince Philip retired from public duties in 2017, after 65 years and more than 22,219 solo engagements. In April last year he underwent hip replacement surgery.

Despite his many gaffes over the years, he has remained hugely popular with the British public – and the most popular member of the British royal family in the eyes of their staff.

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