Royal courtiers finally got a goodwill message to one of Prince Philip’s car crash victims last night – three days late.
Amid mounting anger at his failure to apologise to the two women injured, Buckingham Palace said contact had at last been made.
After a farcical failure to get in touch last week, the Queen’s private office scrambled to make amends over the weekend by trying to call the victims, yet was still unable to confirm if the duke had actually apologised.
The women and a nine-month-old baby survived when 97-year-old Philip drove into the path of their car on Thursday, sending his Land Rover somersaulting.
Prince Philip was spotted behind the wheel of a new Land Rover- days after his car crash
Emma Fairweather, whose wrist was broken in the horror smash, said on Sunday: ‘I’m lucky to be alive and he hasn’t even said sorry. It has been such a traumatic and painful time and I would have expected more of the Royal Family.’
The duke took delivery of a new Land Rover less than 24 hours after the crash, and on Saturday he was back behind the wheel. Astonishingly, he was not wearing a seatbelt, earning him a rebuke from police.
Last night the Daily Mirror reported that it was Mary Morrison, the Queen’s lady-in-waiting, who contacted Miss Fairweather. The paper said the 81-year-old left a message stating: ‘Hello, I’m ringing from Sandringham House.
‘The Queen has asked me to telephone you to pass on her warmest good wishes following the accident and Her Majesty is very eager to know how you are and hope that everything is going as well as can be expected.
‘We’re all thinking of you very much at Sandringham and I’ll try you at a later date. Unfortunately I’ve got to go out quite shortly but I hope all is well as can be expected for you. Thank you very much indeed. Goodbye.’
Miss Fairweather told the Mirror: ‘While it’s nice the Queen has seen it may be appropriate to ask one of her staff to contact me and wish me well, she wasn’t involved in the accident.
‘I’m still quite surprised that Prince Philip hasn’t felt he wants to contact me and inquire as to how I am. The door is absolutely still open for him to reach out.’
The Daily Mail can reveal that Miss Fairweather came under huge pressure to ‘keep quiet’ after the crash, being urged ‘more than ten times’ to be discreet by police.
A friend said: ‘She said the main objective seemed to be to keep her quiet, and keep her out of the way of the media.’
A turning point came on Friday after the palace issued a statement claiming ‘well-wishes’ had been ‘exchanged’. The friend said: ‘Things were being said that just weren’t true.
‘She is very loyal to the Royal Family but she had genuinely imagined that just a little bit more consideration could have been shown towards her.’
Miss Fairweather, who turned 46 yesterday, told the Sunday Mirror: ‘I love the royals but I’ve been ignored and rejected and I’m in a lot of pain. It would mean the world to me if Prince Philip said sorry but I have no idea if he’s sorry at all.’
Royal sources said a ‘goodwill message’ had been passed through a police liaison officer on Friday.
But Miss Fairweather, a support worker and mother of two, said the message – ‘The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh would like to be remembered to you’ – was ‘not an apology or even a well-wish’.
Emma Fairweather, 46, was involved in the road traffic incident collision with HRH Prince Philip
On Saturday, members of the Queen’s private office made several attempts to contact them personally but were unsuccessful.
After further attempts yesterday, Miss Fairweather was finally reached last night. The palace said: ‘A full message of support was sent to both the driver and passenger.’
Miss Fairweather was the passenger in the Kia being driven by her 28-year-old friend, whose baby boy was strapped in the back seat.
On the A149 near Sandringham, the duke – who later said he had been dazzled by the low afternoon sun – pulled out of a side road and they struck his Land Rover side-on.
His armoured Freelander spun, flipped and careered across the carriageway, while the mangled Kia flew into a hedge.
Miss Fairweather, of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, said that she ‘couldn’t stop screaming’ as the collision unfolded ‘in slow motion’.
She remembers shouting: ‘Get the baby out!’ as a man came to help them, but after the boy was rescued, everyone concentrated on the other car because it was on its side.
The overturned SUV that was bring driven by 97-year-old Prince Philip after the crash
After she saw Philip had a new car delivered less than 24 hours after the crash, she said: ‘This has upset me.’
She added it was ‘disgusting’ to see him driving without a seatbelt on Saturday.
The Kia driver, who is married and lives locally but has not been named, suffered cuts to her knee.
Police confirmed they had carried out an eyesight test on Philip on Saturday morning, which he had passed.
Amid growing anger on social media, Isabel Dick wrote on Twitter: ‘If a 97-year-old crashed into William and Kate’s car with their baby in it, how long would it take Parliament to rush through new laws about older drivers?’
Still not buckling up Ma’am?
The Queen did not wear a seatbelt again yesterday as she was driven in her Bentley to a service at St Peter’s church at Wolferton on the Sandringham estate.
Photographs show that the car is fitted with belts, but she has never been known to wear one while travelling to church.
Yesterday the Queen was also seen without a seatbelt as she was driven to church
The 92-year-old’s journey from Sandringham House involved crossing the busy A149 road where her husband crashed last week.
But it is believed that her chauffeur avoided using the junction at Babingley where the accident happened. The Queen, who did not buckle up when she drove her Range Rover on Friday, has been criticised by safety campaigners for her failure to strap herself in.