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British Prince Philip "I'm very sorry" after a car accident

LONDON (Reuters) – Prince Philip, the 97-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, this month wrote to a woman who had been injured in a Land Rover accident.

FILE PHOTO: The British Prince Philip is waiting for the bridal party on October 12, 2018 after the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, near London, UK. Alastair Grant / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo

He wished Emma Fairweather a "speedy recovery from a very stressful experience" in the January 21 letter, published by the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

The apology signed "Sincerely, Philip" followed after the royal family was widely criticized for their reaction to the accident. Philip also received a warning from the police to be driven without a seatbelt two days after the crash.

Philip escaped unharmed when the Land Rover he drove after a collision with a Kia car that carried Fairweather on January 17, near the Royals' Sandringham residence in Norfolk, eastern England.

Fairweather, 46, broke his wrist in the accident, and the driver of the Kia, who was carrying a nine-month-old baby, suffered knee injuries.

"I want you to know how sorry I was to be involved in the accident at Babingley Junction," Philip said in the letter.

Philip suggested that the sun, which shone low over the main road, played a role in the accident.

"Under normal circumstances, I would have no difficulty seeing traffic from the direction of Dersingham, but I can only imagine that I did not see the car and I am very dissatisfied with the consequences," he said.

Philip said he was "slightly shaken" after the crash and was very relieved that there were no serious injuries. He said he was advised to return from a police officer to Sandringham, and learned about Fairweather's injury only later.

"I am very sorry for this injury," he said.

Fairweather said the letter was a "nice touch".

"It's a difficult letter to write-to know what's the right thing to do without annoying me," she told the newspaper.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Keith Weir

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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