Queen Elizabeth has given up driving on public roads following Philip’s accident

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Back in January, Prince Philip caused a terrible car accident close to Sandringham. He was driving by himself and he hit a car which contained two women and a baby. Both women needed to be hospitalized and both had injuries (the baby was reportedly okay). Everything that happened afterwards was shady as hell – the police barely investigated the accident, Philip flatly refused to stop driving, and he was seen driving without his seatbelt just days later. He also refused to offer a personal apology to his victims. The whole thing was a PR nightmare for Buckingham Palace, and it just showed me (again) how even the Queen’s big communications team is often wrong in how they handle these kinds of issues. Anyway, weeks later, Philip finally apologized to his victims and it was claimed that he would voluntarily give up his driver’s license. The whole thing must have made the Queen question her own relationship with cars and driving, because it looks like she’s giving up driving too?

On the heels of Prince Philip’s decision to hand over his driver’s license, shortly after he collided with another vehicle in an accident near his home in January, the Queen is following suit. The Sunday Times reports that the Queen will no longer be driving on public roads. Depending on your familiarity with British royals trivia, you may already know this, but: the Queen is the only person in the U.K. who is allowed to drive without a license. (She never had to take a driving test and does not have a number plate on her car.) So: the 92-year-old does not have a license to turn in, but rather has agreed to stop driving “on the advice of her security team,” per the Times.

The monarch, as protocol dictates, is driven when she travels to public engagements, but she had previously taken the wheel herself when driving around her estates and to private functions. Now she will be chauffeured on public roads.

The Queen has a car collection worth millions, including a Land Rover, Range Rover, Bentley, and Jaguar, and has famously always enjoyed driving, with the Times noting this is “likely to have been a reluctant” decision.

[From Vanity Fair]

Yes, I’ve seen footage of the Queen tooling around in her Bentley like the Queen Boss Of Everything when she’s in Windsor or Sandringham or Scotland. My guess is that she will continue to drive in Scotland, but only within her absolutely enormous Balmoral estate. Beyond that… yeah, she probably prefers to be chauffeured at this point. I get the feeling her vision isn’t great anymore. She had cataract surgery last year, and even then, she was still driving sometimes. I’m glad someone finally convinced her to stop driving (for the most part).

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visit the Jaguar Land Rover factory

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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15 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth has given up driving on public roads following Philip’s accident”

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  1. Lauren says:

    I imagine this is hard for the Queen, because I’v read many times that she enjoys driving a lot, and is pretty knowledgeable about cars.

    My favorite story about her was when she insisted on driving a former King of Saudi Arabia around one of her estates. Saudi Arabia, of course, didn’t allow women to drive at the time, so this was a first for the King – and he couldn’t say no to her. She supposedly drove rather fast in a rugged terrain, and scared the crap out of the King.

  2. Anitas says:

    Good for her, but it’s mad that she never had to take the test or be checked if she’s fit to drive.

  3. Lightpurple says:

    That turquoise ensemble is fantastic. I need that coat.

  4. Lisa says:

    Wise decision.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I think this is a good idea, and honestly probably an easy decision to make. How much driving is she doing on public roads right now, anyway? It’s not like she’s driving herself around London. So at this point, if she is still going to drive at Sandringham and Balmoral, it seems like a smart PR move to say she is giving up driving on public roads.

  6. Kelly says:

    If I had to guess, I’d say it was more of the only way they could get Philip to stop driving on public roads. No way was that sexist old man going to give up his if she got to keep driving.

  7. Murphy says:

    This was an April Fools Joke, surprised VF went with it

  8. Wishididnt says:

    This happened in Sandringham, not Windsor

  9. KidV says:

    How is it the Queen never had a license? Her dad was King when she learned to drive, she would have needed a license at that time.

    • Hollz says:

      She probably did have a licence at that point BUT she learnt to drive in the 1940s, while competency tests were suspended due to WWII. She also learnt in the military, so she may have had a separate military licence, rather than a standard one. Competency tests were suspended from 1939-1947 and if she had a military one it would explain why she didn’t take a test between 1947-1952

  10. Ally says:

    I don’t know why this is the communications team’s fault. Regardless of what they communicated, it’s clear that Philip was being an arrogant jerk who refused to stop driving for weeks after the accident. The apology issue may have been that too as well as a legal liability issue.

    This decision by the Queen May is likely part of mollifying the Petulant Prince: look, honey, I won’t drive on public roads either. They should set up a bumper car attraction for him so he can feel macho that way.