Woman in her 80s is critically ill after being hit by royal motorcade
An elderly woman was struck and critically injured by a motorcycle escort ahead of a Royal motorcade in London, England on Wednesday afternoon, the Daily Mail reported.
The woman who was reported to be in her 80s was rushed to a nearby hospital by paramedics from the London Ambulance Service and London's Air Ambulance and was listed in critical condition.
Investigation of Motorcade Collision Underway
The Daily Mail reported that the Royal motorcade, also known as a Special Escort Group, had reportedly been transporting Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, down a major thoroughfare in central London known as the A4 and the crash occurred near a major intersection not far from Kensington Palace.
Pictures from the scene of the aftermath of the incident showed a grocery bag with assorted items, believed to have been carried by the elderly woman, that was strewn across the road, as well as an empty shoe that was also suspected of having been worn by the victim.
A reconstruction of the scene suggested that the woman had been struck by the motorcycle on one side of the road and was then thrown roughly 40 feet to land on the opposite side of the road.
There were no other reported injuries and the collision is under investigation by the Metropolitan Police and its Directorate of Professional Standards, as is routine after such an incident.
Statement from Palace, Witnesses Describe Incident
The U.K. Sun reported that a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said in a statement, "The Duchess’s heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the injured lady and her family."
"She is grateful for the swift response by the emergency services and will keep abreast of developments," the statement added. "Further comment at this time would not be appropriate while the incident is being investigated."
The U.K.'s Evening Standard reported that there were multiple witnesses to the incident and its aftermath, including a nearby resident named Tricia who said, "There were blue lights from the emergency services everywhere. There were people huddled around a person on the ground. It was very harrowing."
"There were police bikes there and shortly before the accident, I had seen a motorcade going past me. That junction is horrible it’s a death trap," she added.
A student who lives in the area told the outlet, "I was returning from college and heard a screech and then a scraping noise. There were some police there with bikes, and then people were pushed back so the woman could get medical attention."
A worker at a nearby grocery store said, "We saw some motorcyclists and a convoy, then there was a scream. There was a lady on the ground. The police were trying to help her then there were ambulances. The junction is very dangerous, we see incidents all the time."
Sophie Takes on Prominent Role Under Charles' Monarchy
Newsweek reported that, according to its sources, it is not believed that Duchess Sophie personally witnessed the incident with the escort motorcycle and the elderly woman, and it was confirmed that her vehicle in that motorcade had not been involved.
Sophie, who married the youngest brother of King Charles III in 1999, Prince Edward, was previously known as the Countess of Wessex but had her title upgraded recently to become the Duchess of Edinburgh.
She was a featured member of the Royal Family at the formal coronation event on Saturday and on Wednesday, presumably before the motorcade incident, played host for a garden party at Buckingham Palace with her husband Edward alongside the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles' eldest son Prince William and wife Kate Middleton.
According to the Daily Mail, Sophie, 58, and Kate, 41, appear to have become close friends with one another over the past several years and have been spotted paired together at numerous Royal events.
The outlet further noted that Sophie and Kate are well-regarded and quite popular among the people and are seemingly positioned to serve as a sort of prominent "power duo" in what has been described as a "slimmed down" monarchy and Royal Family under the newly coronated King Charles.