It’s unlikely that you or I or Lorde will ever somehow pull a Mia Thermopolis and become royals overnight. It’s similarly unlikely that we will ever be under the kind of public scrutiny that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, receives. Having crashed his Land Rover Freelander back in January, and only a few days later causing an uproar for having been seen driving without his safety belt, the 97-year-old Prince has decided it is time to hang up his keys.
Saturday, Buckingham Palace issued a statement that Philip had surrendered his license to drive, following the “suitable words of advice” from Norfolk Police. The official word from the crown is that the decision was voluntary.
There is no age in the United Kingdom at which giving up your driving privileges is compulsory, but a doctor may advise drivers on whether they remain capable of driving. Philip still claims to be a competent driver, but understands the consequences and scrutiny to which he is subject.
Might it be too much to suggest that all civilized countries institute annual driving competency and reaction time tests for those over 90?