How the royals really are terrible drivers with bans, speeding fines and crashes

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THE monarchy was left reeling this week after Prince Harry and Meghan announced they intend stepping down as senior royals.

The couples bombshell would have come as a welcome distraction for the Duke of Sussexs cousin Zara Tindall, who was slapped with a six-month driving ban on Wednesday.

Zara Tindall was forced to give up driving for six months for speeding in her Land Rover

The Queens granddaughter, 38, has become the latest royal to be caught behaving badly behind the wheel after being caught speeding at 91mph in her flashy Land Rover in a 70mph zone.

Shockingly, the offence came after shed already racked up nine points on her licence.

Ex rugby ace Mike Tindalls wife pleaded guilty through her lawyer to driving in excess of 70mph on the A417 near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, on November 6 last year the same road her mother Princess Anne was caught on the wrong side of 90mph on in 2001.

And theyre far from the first family members to have a run-in with traffic cops, with Prince Philip and the Duke of Kent ending up in nasty smashes within months of each other last year.

While the royal family are required to pass the same driving test as the rest of the country, many of them particularly senior members such as Prince Philip, whose own driving career came crashing down last year following his accident near the Sandringham Estate only drive on rare occasions.

Even then, its on relatively private roads with almost no other traffic.

Feroz Bhimani, a partner at law firm Caines Law told HOAR Online: Naturally, if you are used to quieter roads where there is little traffic and of course, a lot less speed enforcement, you can and people often do take the roads, vehicles and other road users for granted.

The destroyed Kia Carens that collided with Prince Philip’s Range Rover last year

When you are then faced with a different and arguably more typical environments like a dual carriageway, this can affect your ability to handle such situations.

In Zaras case, a full ban on driving was handed down due to her previous offences with the mother-of-two this time getting a further four points on her licence on top of the previous nine.

And it seems this time, being royal may not have worked in her favour.

Ordinarily, one can avoid a ban in this situation if they can prove to the court that a ban for six months would likely cause exceptional hardship, Mr Bhimani added.

This argument was never likely to succeed [for Zara] as most royals and high profile persons with considerable income/earning potential would be no more than inconvenienced by such a ban, and often can quite easily employ a driver for the duration of the ban.

Many high profile royals spend the majority of their time being driven around the country by police convoy, making high speed journeys very much the norm for them.

In fact, when being escorted by cops, theyre immune from speeding fines altogether.

But while the fast life may be fun and games when you have blue flashing lights surrounding you, the need for speed has come back to haunt some of the royals when theyve been left to their own devices.

Heres a look at more royal car crashes that made headlines.

Philips flip

Prince Philip flipped his Range Rover when he pulled out in front of another car at a T-junction last January
The Queen’s husband permanently hung up his driving gloves after the horror smash

Hes been driving for the majority of his 98 years, but Prince Philip was forced to hand over his keys for the final time last year after crashing into two women and a baby and rolling his own car near the Sandringham Estate.

Barrister Roy Warne, 75, who was first at the scene, heard the Duke later admit to cops he had been dazzled by the sun.

The Duke of Edinburgh went on to voluntarily give up his licence just weeks after the incident, amid outrage over the dangers of elderly drivers on the roads.

Official figures at the time revealed that more than 100,000 registered drivers in the UK are over 90 years old.

Dukes of Hazard

Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, had his own royal smash up last year
Olivia Fellows, who Prince Edward crashed into, said she was left ‘badly shaken’ by the crash

Just months later, the Queens cousin, the Duke of Kent, was involved in a 60mph car crash with a 21-year-old student.

Prince Edward, 84, was driving a Jaguar when he allegedly pulled out in front of Olivia Fellows on the A27 on June 2.

Fellows told Mail Online at the time: “I was driving north at 60mph and suddenly this Jaguar pulled out in front of me.

Like mother, like daughter

Princess Anne was busted for doing 93mph on the same road where her daughter was nabbed doing 91mph

Princess Anne has successfully kept much of her private life out of the spotlight, rarely being seen in public other than on official royal engagements.

But she found herself front and centre of the headlines in 2001 when she was convicted of speeding and fined 400.

The Princess Royal admitted driving at 93mph on the A417 in Gloucestershire the same road her daughter was recently caught speeding on.

She later claimed she thought she was being escorted by police past slow moving traffic.

Court clerk Kim Edge told magistrates at the time that the royal had sent a letter in, written by her solicitors on her behalf, explaining what allegedly happened.

“She saw the police car and believed it was waiting to escort her on her journey, Mrs Edge said in court, Mail Online reports.

“She pulled out and accelerated from behind the traffic in front of her to a clear part of the road so the officers could see her.”

Accident ended in tragedy

While Prince Philip, the Duke of Kent, Princess Anne and her daughter Zara luckily escaped without injury in their own road nightmares, the Duchess of York was left heartbroken when her mother tragically died while driving in Argentina years earlier.

Susan Barrantes was decapitated when her car collided head-on with a van on September 19, 1998.

According to the Independent, her former husband Major Ferguson who she was divorced from after an 18-year marriage said at the time: We are all deeply shocked and extremely upset and I feel very sorry for my two daughters Jane and Sarah and the rest of Susan’s family.

A spokesperson for road safety charity Brake has now called for all drivers to take extra care on the roads in the wake of Zaras speeding ban, with a spokesperson saying in a statement: Brake urges drivers to stick well within speed limits; never drink or take drugs; never use their mobile phones when driving; always wear a seat belt; and get their eyesight tested regularly.

The DVSA insists all members of the royal family are required to pass the same driving test as the public.

Chief driving examiner Mark Winn tells Sun Online: All candidates, including those who are part of the royal family, are assessed to the same standard and the result of their test is entirely dependent on their performance on the day.

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