"It’s a shame he didn’t make it a bit sooner but it’s the right thing to do," Emma Fairweather told the Sunday Mirror tabloid. "Undoubtedly the roads will be safer now. It won’t have been easy for him to make [the decision] as it is a loss of independence. But he can work around it."
Buckingham Palace said Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, voluntarily surrendered his license "after careful consideration." Norfolk Police confirmed to the Sunday Mirror that the prince had handed over his license and added that an investigative file on the crash had been passed on to the Crown Prosecution Service, which could still charge him in the matter.
Prince Philip was behind the wheel of a Land Rover that collided with a Kia on Jan. 17 near the royal family's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, eastern England. The Kia's driver, 28-year-old Ellie Townsend, received treatment at a local hospital for a knee injury, but her nine-month-old son was unhurt. Fairweather, a passenger in the Kia, told the Sunday Mirror that she had an operation this week to screw a metal plate into her arm.
In a letter of apology to Fairweather, Philip said he was distracted by low sunlight over the road where the crash took place.
"In normal circumstances, I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming ... but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences," he wrote, later adding: "I wish you a speedy recovery from a deeply distressing experience."
The Sunday Mirror quoted a senior royal source who credited the queen with persuading her husband to give up his license.
"It’s often said the monarch is the only person Philip ever listens to," the source said, "and on this occasion that's very true."