Prince Philip, 97, gives up license after car crash

In this Friday, Oct. 12, 2018 file photo, Britain's Prince Philip waits for the bridal procession following the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, near London, England. (AP)
Updated 10 February 2019

Prince Philip, 97, gives up license after car crash

  • Philip came under days of media criticism for failing to quickly and publicly apologize for causing the crash

LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II’s 97-year-old husband Prince Philip on Saturday surrendered his driving license after causing a car crash that outraged the media and stirred a debate about old age and driving.
Buckingham Palace said Philip — formally known as the Duke of Edinburgh — took the decision on his own after rolling over his Land Rover last month.
“After careful consideration the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license,” Buckingham Palace said in a brief statement.
Police in the eastern part of England where the accident happened outside a royal residence said they had passed Philip’s file to prosecutors to determine whether anyone should be charged.
“Norfolk Police can confirm that the 97-year-old driver of the Land Rover involved in the collision at Sandringham ... voluntarily surrendered his license to officers,” said a police statement.
“The investigation file for the collision has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for their consideration.”
A CPS spokesman said the service “will take this development into account” as it studies Philip’s case.
Few royal watchers seriously expect the duke to be punished by the police.

A witness told British media that Philip had emerged unharmed but “shocked and shaken” from the collision with the much smaller Kia hatchback.
Police said a nine-month-old baby in the back seat of Kia was uninjured. One woman in the vehicle broke her wrist and the other cut her knee.
The duke was forced to follow standard police procedure and take a breath test.
Police said the results “provided negative readings” for both drivers.
Philip came under days of media criticism for failing to quickly and publicly apologize for causing the crash.
The same witness said Philip had told police he was “blinded by the sun” when he turned onto the road without seeing the oncoming car.
Two days after that accident, the duke was photographed driving a replacement Range Rover without a seatbelt, which is illegal in Britain.
James Brookes, of the Royal Central news site, said Philip was a “strong-willed” individual who was probably not swayed by the public backlash when deciding to hang up his key.
“He wants to enjoy his retirement but he was very shaken by the crash,” Brookes told the BBC.
But Brookes conceded that Philip would have “obviously” been aware of the bad press.
Philip’s behavior also raised questions about why he was still driving instead of being chauffeured around by his entourage.
“There will be some surprise that the duke still drives himself on public roads,” BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond wrote last month.
Dymond also called Philip a “fiercely independent” person who “would have resisted any suggestion that he be denied the right to drive himself.”
Philip retired from public life in 2017 and underwent a hip replacement operation last April.
He is famous in Britain for his forthright manner and his love of speed.
The royal family website says the duke learned to fly all types of aircraft after passing a Royal Air Force test in 1953.


Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

Updated 19 August 2019

Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

  • Then Russian Navy Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko wrote the letter when he was a 36-year-old aboard the Sulak
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.
Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 600 miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported.
“I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle,” Tyler Ivanoff said. “When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out.”
Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.
Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.
He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.
“There — exactly!” he exclaimed.
The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.
Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese liquor bottles, the latter kept over his wife’s protests.
Ivanoff’s discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.