Elderly Briton dies after being struck by UK royal’s motorcade

Helen Holland, 81, died two weeks after being hit by a motorcycle escorting Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh.

Britain's Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh travel in a carriage from Westminster Abbey following Britain's King Charles' coronation ceremony, in London, Britain May 6, 2023. Jeremy Selwyn/Pool via REUTERS
Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, travels in a carriage from Westminster Abbey following King Charles's coronation ceremony, in London, Britain on May 6, 2023 [Jeremy Selwyn/Pool via Reuters]

An elderly woman who was struck two weeks ago by a police motorcycle escorting Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, has died of severe internal injuries.

Helen Holland died after “suffering multiple broken bones and massive internal injuries”, her son Martin Holland told the BBC on Wednesday. She had been in a coma after the crash on May 10, according to her family.

The 81-year-old was using a “safe route of [a] pedestrian crossing” when she was struck, her son said, according to the BBC.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed Holland’s death in an emailed statement.

“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,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

Sophie, the wife of King Charles’s youngest brother Prince Edward, would privately get in touch with Holland’s family, the statement said.

Holland was described as a loving mother and grandmother by her family, and “sprightly” for her age.

The crash took place days after King Charles was crowned in a lavish ceremony. Thousands of extra police officers were deployed on May 6 and 7 as a raft of events were under way, with large crowds flocking to London to celebrate the occasion.

The police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), is investigating the incident, which took place in the Earl’s Court district of West London.

The IOPC said in a statement last week it was reviewing footage from police body cameras and had taken initial accounts from officers involved.

The IOPC had no further information on Wednesday, while London’s Metropolitan Police said it was cooperating with the IOPC probe.

“This tragic outcome is being felt by colleagues across the Met,” Chief Superintendent Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Royalty and Specialist Protection, said in a statement. “Our thoughts are very much with the woman’s family and loved ones at this sad time.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies