Why was Prince Philip, 97, driving?

Bianca Soldani
Lifestyle Editor Australia

The Duke of Edinburgh has walked away from a rather nasty car accident in the UK.

Prince Philip was behind the wheel of a Land Rover and was leaving the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, when his four wheel drive collided with another car.

Photos from the scene show his car rolled on its side, and while reports from Buckingham Palace say that the Queen’s husband was unhurt in the incident, two people in another car suffered minor injuries.

But the question remaining for many, is why is 97-year-old Philip driving on a public road?

The Duke of Edinburgh is known for driving around Sandringham Estate. Image: Getty
Does Prince Philip have a driver’s licence?

Well, according to Buckingham Palace, the Duke holds a valid driver’s licence.

Unlike the Queen – who, thanks to her powers as the Sovereign, is the only person in Britain who does not need a driver’s licence to get behind the wheel – Prince Philip is required to adhere to the regular checks and balances when it comes to renewing a licence.

The palace told The Express, “Prince Philip followed all the usual Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) practices”.

The UK’s DVLA requires drivers to renew their licence every three years after they reach the age of 70, however there is no maximum age at which anyone can hold a licence.

The 97-year-old’s Land Rover was flipped on its side after the two car crash. Image: Sunrise

That hasn’t stopped people from questioning why Philip was on the road, however, with many taking to Twitter.

He’s also an avid carriage driver

Philip is known to enjoy a drive around the expansive Sandringham estate and was famously seen driving Barack and Michelle Obama to Windsor Castle back in 2016.

He’s also an avid carriage driver, and even in his 80s, the Duke continued to compete in demanding carriage driving competitions, and has previously pulled muscles in his back while driving his horse-drawn carriage.

The Duke was pictured driving the Obamas across their Windsor estate back in 2016. Photo: Getty

In 2017, he joked how the rough and tumble of carriage driving left his “Balmoral dog cart” smashed up regularly.

In his first interview since he announced his retirement, Philip told how he took up the sport of carriage driving when he gave up polo aged 50.

He was instrumental in helping to establish the sport and took part well into his 80s, but gave up competitions some years ago.

Prince Philip retired from public duties in summer 2017, aged 96, after having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.

Prince Philip does hold a driver’s licence. Photo: Getty

Prince Philip shaken

Following the car accident, which happened at around 3pm local time on Thursday, Buckingham Palace issued a statement confirming he was unharmed.

“The Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road traffic accident with another vehicle this afternoon,” it said.

“The Duke was not injured. The accident took place close to the Sandringham Estate. Local police attended the scene.”

Medical professionals were also called and the two people in the other vehicle were taken to hospital with minor injuries. Both drivers were breath tested as a matter of regular procedure, and both returned negative results.

Onlookers told the BBC that they helped the Duke out of his Land Rover and he was “conscious but very, very shocked and shaken”.

He’s known to enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride. Photo: Getty

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