Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh is praying for a woman who was hit by a motorcycle that was part of her royal escort.
Buckingham Palace released a statement on behalf of Sophie, 58, on Wednesday, May 10, shortly after the accident occurred in West London.
“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 read. “Further comment at this time would not be appropriate while the incident is being investigated.”
The Guardian reported that the woman struck by the vehicle, who is in her 80s, was taken to the hospital in critical condition after treatment from paramedics.
A similar incident occurred in June 2019 when another woman, also in her 80s, was hit by a police motorcycle in Prince William and Princess Kate’s escort. Kensington Palace released a statement at the time noting that William, 40, and Kate, 41, were “deeply concerned and saddened” by the event and that a member of their staff had delivered flowers to the woman.
Wednesday’s accident comes less than one week after the duchess attended King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s coronation on Saturday, May 6. Sophie and her husband, Prince Edward — the youngest child of the late Queen Elizabeth II — both appeared in one of the official coronation photographs, posing alongside the king and queen and other members of the royal family.
Sophie — who shares daughter Lady Louise Windsor, 19, and son James, Viscount Severn, 15, with Edward, 59 — wore a hand-embroidered white Suzannah London gown underneath her Royal Victoria Order Mantle for the occasion. The duchess’ daughter looked elegant in a white and blue floral gown with a matching headpiece while her son opted for a black suit with a white shirt and burgundy tie. Edward, for his part, donned his Garter Mantle.
The Count and Countess of Wessex — who tied the knot in June 1999 — have both noted that the key to their marriage is a strong friendship.
“I think we share a number of interests, we laugh a lot and we have a great friendship,” the duchess noted during a January 1999 press photo call on the grounds of St. James’ Palace.
Edward added, “We are the very best of friends and that’s essential, but it also helps that we also love each other very much.”
Sophie supported her husband when his mother, Elizabeth, died at age 96 in September 2022. At the funeral service, the West Kent College alum was spotted handing Edward a handkerchief as he got emotional. She was also photographed putting her arm around William and Kate’s son Prince George, 9, to comfort him.
The royal couple enjoyed a close bond with the late monarch. “We do see quite a lot of her,” Sophie told Sky News of her mother-in-law in September 2016. “We’re over there most weekends riding.”
Sophie and Edward cohosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace with William and Kate on Tuesday, May 9. The event celebrated volunteers and “people who do extraordinary things,” per the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Instagram. The function comes amid royal experts’ reports that Charles wants a slimmed-down monarchy during his reign, with senior royals including Sophie and Edward taking on more responsibilities.
“It’s always been rumored that he wants to slim down the working royals at the core of the family,” royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti exclusively told Us Weekly of Charles in March 2022, six months before Elizabeth’s death.
“Well, I think the ‘slimmed-down’ [comment] was said in a day when there were a few more people around … [to] make that seem like a justifiable comment,” Anne, 72, explained, hinting at the queen’s death and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping back from their roles as senior royals in 2020. “I’m not quite sure what else we can do.”