Duke should be prosecuted if found at fault, crash victim suggests

A mother-of-two injured in the Duke of Edinburgh’s car crash has suggested he should be prosecuted if found at fault over the incident.

Emma Fairweather, 46, who broke her wrist in last Thursday’s accident, spoke out against Philip during a television interview after pictures emerged at the weekend of the duke driving without his seatbelt.

She questioned why she had not received any official support, and was still waiting to give a statement to police – something that left her shocked.

Interviewed on ITV’s This Morning programme, she said about Philip not buckling up: “It’s highly insensitive and inconsiderate towards me and everybody involved.”

Ms Fairweather agreed with presenter Holly Willoughby’s suggestion that if the duke is deemed to be at fault for the accident, he should be prosecuted – saying “absolutely”.

She added: “There needs to be a decision as to whether Prince Philip and I are from the same walk of life here or not, and we either both receive the same treatment or we don’t.”

The mother-of-two said she has still not been directly contacted by the duke, but has received a message from the Queen’s lady-in-waiting Mary Morrison.

Public relations consultant Mark Borkowski has criticised Buckingham Palace’s handling of the situation, describing it as a “DIY PR moment”.

Speaking about the decision by the 97-year-old duke to order a new car and go driving a few days after the accident, Mr Borkowski said: “It would have been wise to just go a little bit silent on this story.

“It seems to me he had a point to prove that despite his ageing years, he loved his car and wasn’t going to stop, it was a real statement from him – business as usual.”

Duke of Edinburgh car crash
Broken glass and car parts on the side of the A149 near to the Sandringham Estate where the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road accident (John Stillwell/PA)

He added that palace officials were having to work with the determined duke: “We all have clients who want to do things in a way they want to do, they might take some advice from a PR person it doesn’t necessarily mean they get the advice, we call that situation ‘doing all the wrong things really well’.”

Norfolk Police are continuing their investigation into the crash, which happened on the A149 shortly before 3pm last Thursday near the Queen’s Sandringham estate, when Philip drove his Land Rover Freelander on to the busy A-road.

It was in collision with a Kia driven by Ms Fairweather’s 28-year-old female friend – whose nine-month-old son was also in the car.

Despite the 4×4 rolling over and the Kia being badly damaged, the duke escaped without injury – as did the baby, although the women involved required hospital treatment for their injuries.

This Morning
Emma Fairweather who was injured in a car crash involving the Duke of Edinburgh (ITV/PA)

Over the weekend, police spoke to the duke about the legal requirement to wear a belt and he also underwent an eyesight test, which he passed.

During the television interview, the mother-of-two said: “I’ve had no support. The only support I’ve had is my very immediate family. In terms of support, I mean assurances that this has been dealt with. I don’t know what the situation is.”

Philip reportedly said “I’m such a fool” as he was pulled from the wrecked car by Roy Warne.

The 75-year-old told the Sun he heard the duke telling police he had been “dazzled by the sun”.

Ms Fairweather said she had expected Philip to speak to her at the scene of the crash: “I said ‘Where has he gone?’ Because surely he wants to speak to me and check I’m OK?

“Somebody said he did try to but was advised not to … I don’t think asking if you’re OK is accepting liability, but I do understand that.”

She added: “A quote from Prince Philip in the news yesterday ‘I was such a fool’ seems he’s prepared to admit some responsibility, just not to me, just to everybody else.”

Responding to reports the duke said after the accident he was “dazzled” by the sun, Ms Fairweather said: “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. I had a day that we’d been complaining that morning that is was miserable and overcast.”