Prince Charles to step in as Prince Philip faces 'stern talking to' from the Queen about giving up driving after crash

The Duke of Edinburgh is said to be a "law unto himself" after he miraculously walked away from the dramatic crash near Sandringham, which left his 4×4 overturned.

The royal source said: "Prince Charles will have input from now on, as it is stressful for the Queen to make major decision on her own.

"The only person who he will take heed of is the Queen, who at 92 will be horrified by this accident.

"A stern talking to Philip with rules from now concerning driving will be spelt out once Philip is over his shock at this potentially very serious car crash."

They added: "He will not be contained, he has a low boredom threshold and is now causing a problem with his wandering and off piste activities.

"He is basically living in Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate and runs his own timetable, his trusted staff just tend to let him 'get on with it."

The Queen is due to leave Sandringham on February 6, with Prince Charles expected to have an input in what will happen with his father after that date.

Prince Philip was pulled from the wreckage of his Land Rover after colliding with a Kia carrying two women and a baby.

The 97-year-old Duke has regularly been seen driving himself or the Queen in recent years.

Weeks after his hip operation last April he was photographed behind the wheel of his Land Rover appearing in good spirits at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Looking extremely comfortable in the drivers seat, he even briefly stopped to speak to the Queen through his window.

And he continued to defy expectations when he was seen travelling with the Queen in the royal Bentley to a church service in August.

Prince Charles had previously told of his concern about his dad's getting behind the wheel.


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In June 2014 the Prince of Wales told a D-Day veteran's son he was worried about the fact the Duke was still driving a car.

Charles was speaking to Ivor Thomas, a former Corporal in the Royal Engineers, who was with his wheelchair-bound dad who was still driving a 1985 Ford Sierra.

"So does my father. I'm always worried," Charles said, before gesturing towards Mr Thomas, and asking: "But his eyesight's all right?"

'PERFECTLY GOOD HEALTH'

But the fiercely independent royal was left "shocked and very, very shaken" following a dramatic crash near Sandringham.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing his Land Rover flip over onto the driver's door.

The Duke was pulling out of a driveway onto the A419 at Babingley when his car was smashed on its side.

Philip – who miraculously walked away from the crash – is now being cared for by royal doctors and the Queen is by his side at Sandringham.

GENTLEMAN OF LEISURE

The Prince made it clear that his retirement from royal duties after 70 years in the public eye was not due to health reasons, but so he could have more leisure time.

A few days after Buckingham Palace announced his retirement, the Duke, then 95, was out and about carriage driving at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

He has even continued to enjoy carriage driving, which has been one of his favourite hobbies since the 1970s.

I suppose I could just drive about the country but the challenge of the competition is a great inducement to get out

Days before Christmas he was full of festive cheer as he drove a carriage out in Windsor Castle's grounds.

But last month he sparked health fears as did not attend the traditional Christmas Day service for the first time.

Back in 2004, the Prince hinted after he retired from competitive carriage racing he would "drive around the countryside".

In his book, 30 Years On and Off The Box Seat, the Prince wrote: "You may well wonder why I have continued to compete for quite so many years.

Duke of hazard

Philip left a driver with whiplash after his Range Rover went into the back of a Mercedes at a zebra crossing in Brandon, Suffolk, in January 1996.

Sales director Pat Daynes, whose car had £1,000 of damage, said: “I was leading a normal life. Then whack, I’m part of a royal soap opera.”

"The simple answer is that I have enjoyed every moment of it, or, more accurately, almost every moment of it. It gets me into the fresh air and it keeps me reasonably fit.

"I suppose I could just drive about the country but the challenge of the competition is a great inducement to get out and practise, even when the weather conditions might be a bit discouraging."

Although the Prince faced a number of health scares beyond the age of 90, he continued to stay behind the wheel.

He even drove Barack Obama around when the then US President came to visit in April 2016.

Abdominal surgery, bladder infections and a blocked coronary artery have seen him admitted to hospital on a number of occasions.

ROYALS 'RALLY AROUND' THE DUKE

Concerns were expressed for Philip's health when he appeared to lean against a pillar for support while standing during the Whitehall service.

But a week later he was carriage driving at Windsor on the day of his platinum wedding anniversary, and he and the Queen celebrated in the evening with a party for more than 100 family and friends.

And this summer break he made a remarkable bounce back to health when he was seen fishing and hunting.

In September the Prince was last seen taking his Land Rover out for a spin near Balmoral in September.

Donning a pair of trusty spectacles, the 97-year-old drove alone on the A93 Braemar while on his way back to Balmoral Castle.

22,219 SOLO ENGAGEMENTS

Royal biographer Hugo Vickers told BBC News: "Any kind of car accident at the age of 97 is likely to produce shock.

"Some years ago he gave up flying planes long before he needed to because he was scared that if something happened there would be a lot of criticism.

"You know, why was he, at the age of 55, still flying a plane when he should have retired at 48 or something like that.

"So he does listen to these things – he's very, very sensible.

"If anyone's involved in a car accident, it's quite a frightening thing. If he thought that he'd lost concentration or something or he hadn't seen somebody he would realise he's not up to it anymore."

After his decision to retire, the younger members of the Royal family vowed to "rally around" and support the Queen.

Prince Philip completed 22,219 solo engagements at home and abroad after he assumed his title in 1952.

When the Obamas visited the UK for a state visit in 2016, they weren't escorted from their helicopter by a security driver.

Instead, the task fell to Prince Philip – a keen motorist.

Mr Obama was complimentary about the duke's driving skills, and said at the time: "I have to say I have never been driven by a Duke of Edinburgh before and I can report that it was very smooth riding."










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