Prince Philip's car crash 'disastrous' for the Royal Family's public image

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent

The Duke of Edinburgh’s car accident has been a “PR disaster for the Royal Family”. 

Prince Philip was driving near the Sandringham estate on Thursday afternoon when his Land Rover collided with another car carrying three passengers, including a nine-month-old baby.

While the Duke was uninjured, the driver of the Kia, a 28-year-old woman, suffered cuts to her knee while her passenger, Emma Fairweather, 46, sustained a broken wrist. Norfolk Police also confirmed the nine-month-old baby boy also in the car was uninjured.

The accident sparked immediate concerns as to whether the 97-year-old prince, who has had a recent history of ill-health, remains fit enough to drive.

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The prince then sparked further outrage after he was photographed driving a new £68,000 Land Rover Freelander on Saturday without a seatbelt.

The Queen and Prince Philip pictured at Princess Eugenie’s wedding in October 2018 [Photo: Getty]

Norfolk Police said “suitable words of advice have been given to the driver,” after seeing the photos. 

The Queen, who is taking her winter break in Sandringham, was also reportedly spotted in the back of her car without her seatbelt on as she was driven to church. 

Speaking to Yahoo UK’s The Royal Box, PR expert Nick Ede said: “The worst part of this is two days later [Prince Philip] getting a brand new car and then driving in it without a seatbelt, it’s ridiculous.

“He does have drivers, he does have a security team and it would have been good PR to have him driven somewhere for the first public outing rather than driving without a seatbelt.”

You can watch the full interview with Nick Ede above.