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Duchess of Edinburgh 'deeply saddened' by death of woman hit by royal motorcade

Buckingham Palace has released a statement on behalf of the Duchess of Edinburgh


The palace has released a statement on behalf of the Duchess of Edinburgh© Getty
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: May 24, 2023
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The Duchess of Edinburgh has said she is "deeply saddened" by the death of a pensioner, who was hit by a police motorcycle as they escorted the royal through London two weeks ago. 

Helen Holland, 81, from Birchanger, Essex was struck by the motorbike on 10 May at the junction of Cromwell Road and Warwick Road in west London, where she remained in a critical condition for two weeks. 

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Duchess of Edinburgh is deeply saddened to hear that Helen Holland has passed away. Her Royal Highness's deepest condolences and sympathies go to all of Ms Holland's family."

HELLO! understands that Sophie will be in touch privately with Ms Holland's family. 

Ms Holland's family told the BBC that she fought "for her life for nearly two weeks... but irreversible damage to her brain finally ended the battle today".,

Announcing her death, her son, Martin Holland, said his mother had died after "suffering multiple broken bones and massive internal injuries".

Sophie looked stunning in a blue ruffled midi dress with a floral hat© Getty
Sophie and Edward had attended a Buckingham Palace garden party the day before the incident
Duchess Sophie 'praying' as elderly lady hurt after colliding with royal motorcade© Getty
The palace has released a statement of the Duchess

BBC News At Ten newsreader Clive Myrie  previously said the family is "calling for a thorough investigation".

The force said the Directorate of Professional Standards, which investigates officers' conduct, has been informed as is routine.  

Other royal accidents

Back in 2019, a grandmother was seriously injured after being hit by a police motorcyclist in Prince William and Kate's royal motorcade.

Irene Mayor, then 83, was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after she reportedly broke her pelvis.

The incident happened when the then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were travelling to Windsor to join the Queen at the Order of the Garter ceremony in Windsor Castle.

William and Kate were left "deeply concerned and saddened" by the incident and reached out to Irene's family, Kensington Palace confirmed at the time.

The royal couple even sent flowers with a handwritten note and told Mrs Mayor's daughter Fiona that they wanted to visit the church-going grandmother if she was willing to see them.

The Duchess of Edinburgh visits Iraq

Sophie has made a surprise visit to Iraq as part of her work championing the survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday

Sophie has spent two days in the capital Baghdad, where she heard about the challenges facing Iraqi women and girls, and the ongoing work to protect and promote their rights, the palace said.

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The previously unannounced trip, which was kept secret for security reasons, was made at the request of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, in support of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPS). 

The Foreign Office advises against all travel to the majority of provinces in Iraq, amid the threat of violent protests in and around the International Zone in Baghdad.

The Duchess of Edinburgh was recieved by the President and First Lady of Iraq© PA
The Duchess of Edinburgh was recieved by the President and First Lady of Iraq

Sophie visited a high school for girls, and spoke to students and teachers about education for young women in the country, and their hopes for the future.

She also visited a family planning centre to hear about work being carried out to support the reproductive health and wellbeing of Iraqi women, and met female business leaders to discuss the importance of women’s economic empowerment.

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