STEPHEN GLOVER: Why can’t the Queen and Philip just obey the law like the rest of us

Mail Online | 1/22/2019 | Stephen Glover for the Daily Mail
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The Duke of Edinburgh’s car accident last Thursday could have been much more serious.

The nine-month-old baby in the car involved in the collision with his Land Rover might have been badly injured, even killed.

True - Women - Car - Wrist

True, one of the two women in the car broke her wrist.

Everyone, except perhaps the baby who is too young to have understood what happened, must have suffered shock. But, thank God, a catastrophe was avoided.

Days - Royal - Officials - Prince - Philip

And yet over the following days Royal officials and Prince Philip himself have contrived to turn what was a happy escape into a rather discreditable story which, at the very least, will have puzzled some members of the public.

First there was the almost instant delivery to Sandringham of a replacement Land Rover. This somehow conveyed the impression of an unrepentant Prince, who was impatient to take to the road again in a Mr Toad-ish way.

Way - Wish - Nothing

And, indeed, this is exactly what he did. In a way, his wish to go on as though nothing had happened was admirable.

The 97-year-old former war hero and all-round action man was not going to change his ways because of a common-or-garden prang.

Eagerness - Accident - Criticism - Man - Age

Nevertheless, his eagerness to put aside the accident, and continue as before, invited the criticism that he had not considered whether a man of his age should be driving on public roads.

Being photographed at the wheel without a seatbelt 48 hours after a crash was not great PR. Nor was the Queen’s identical lapse a day later.

Pas - Sort - Message - Sympathy - Women

Probably the worst faux pas was not sending some sort of immediate message of sympathy to the two women in the other car.

It may be that lawyers advised against such an overture on the grounds that an apology implies fault. We can’t be certain the Duke was responsible.

Expression - Sorrow

But a simple expression of sorrow doesn’t indicate...
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