FIRST and foremost, it is a near miracle that nobody was seriously injured in this week’s collision involving the 97-year-old Duke of Edinburgh near the Royal family’s Sandringham estate.
The drivers and occupants of both vehicles, including a baby, are clearly very fortunate. Yet the ensuing debate about whether Prince Philip should have been behind the wheel of his Land Rover, and the loss of independence if he was forced – or persuaded – to give up driving, does have wider ramifications.
For, while countless chauffeurs and courtiers will be at the Duke’s beck and call if his wife’s train is unavailable, a car is invariably a lifeline to all those OAPs who can’t rely upon friends or family, or public transport, to get out and about. And their plight – highlighted by this newspaper’s loneliness campaign – should not be forgotten by those who want all elderly motorists to face tougher sanctions. It’s not that simple.