Prince Philip, 97, Apologizes to Woman Injured in Car Crash: 'I Failed to See the Car Coming'
Prince Philip has sent an apology letter to a woman who suffered a broken wrist in his Jan. 17 car crash near the royal family’s Sandringham Estate.
“Dear Mrs. Fairweather,” Philip, 97, began the note, which Emma Fairweather, 46, provided to the Sunday Mirror. “I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads.”
“I have been across that crossing any number of times and I know very well the amount of traffic that uses that main road,” the Duke of Edinburgh continued.
Queen Elizabeth‘s husband went on to explain that “the sun was shining low over the main road,” adding, “in normal conditions I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming from the Dersingham direction, but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.”
“I was somewhat shaken after the accident, but I was greatly relieved that none of you were seriously injured,” he wrote, mentioning the 28-year-old driver who suffered cuts to her knee and her 9-month-old baby in the backseat, who was uninjured.
Philip explained the timing of his departure from the scene of the accident, writing, “As a crowd was beginning to gather, I was advised to return to Sandringham House by a local Police Officer.”
“I have since learned that you suffered a broken arm,” he added in the letter published by the Sunday Mirror. “I am deeply sorry about this injury.”
Philip also wished Fairweather a “speedy recovery from a very distressing experience.”
“Your sincerely, Philip,” he concluded the note.
Fairweather went on to tell the Sunday Mirror how much she appreciated Philip’s note.
“I thought it was really nice that he signed off as ‘Philip’ and not the formal title. I was pleasantly surprised because of the personalised nature,” she said, adding, “He’s tried to give an explanation so I appreciate that, whether I agree with it or not.”
Fairweather has previously denied that it was sunny on the day of the accident, telling Great Britain’s This Morning that she remembered the weather being “miserable and overcast.”
“I don’t remember it being sunny that day. I would never want to put myself in a position where I would say that the Duke is not being honest. But I do not recall that that day was sunny. That’s all I can say. That’s not the day that I had,” she remarked.
“I’m lucky to be alive and he hasn’t even said sorry,” Fairweather told the outlet.
“It would mean the world to me if Prince Philip said sorry but I have no idea if he’s sorry at all,” she added.
Philip walked away from the accident uninjured after flipping his Land Rover following a collision with a Kia. On doctor’s advice, he visited the hospital on the morning after the crash for a “precautionary check-up.”
“His Royal Highness had no injuries of concern. The Duke has returned to Sandringham,” a palace spokesperson said.
Philip also received an eyesight test, which he passed, according to a police spokesperson.
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According to friend and biographer Gyles Brandreth, Philip will reluctantly accept that he has to give up driving in public if he is advised to do so.
“He is a pragmatist and a realist and I’m sure he will accept that while possibly muttering under his breath,” Brandreth told PEOPLE.