The letter, first published by The Sunday Mirror, was an apology to Emma Fairweather, a passenger who suffered a broken wrist after the Duke of Edinburgh hit the car that she was riding in. The driver of the vehicle suffered cuts to her knees but the additional passenger, a nine-month-old boy, was uninjured.
“Dear Mrs. Fairweather, I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads,” Prince Philip wrote.
The apology from the prince arrived six days after his Land Rover flipped over after colliding with the car carrying Fairweather and the two other passengers.
Fairweather had told ITV’s “This Morning” show on January 21 that she was upset after seeing the Duke of Edinburgh driving, without a seatbelt, only days after the accident and that she hadn’t heard anything from the prince since the accident.
The note, dated January 21, arrived two days later on January 23 to Fairweather’s Norfolk residence.
Prince Philip cited the accident as caused by the sun.
“It was a bright sunny day and at about three in the afternoon, the sun was low over the Wash,” Prince Philip wrote in the letter. “In other words, the sun was shining low over the main road.”
The prince said that in “normal conditions” he would have had “no difficulty in seeing traffic coming.”
“I am somewhat shaken after the accident, but I was greatly relieved that none of you were seriously injured,” Prince Philip wrote. “As a crowd was beginning to gather, I was advised to return to Sandringham House by a local Police Office. I have since learned that you suffered a broken arm. I am deeply sorry about this injury.”
The Duke of Edinburgh wished Fairweather “a speedy recovery” and signed the letter simply “Philip” in blue ink.