Published On: Wed, May 24th, 2023
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Sophie breaks silence as great-grandmother dies two weeks after being hit by royal escort | Royal | News

Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh has publicly expressed her sadness after hearing about the death of Helen Holland. The 81-year-old has died after being struck down by the Met Police motorcycle that was escorting Sophie in West London on May 10. A statement released on Wednesday read: “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.”

Helen Holland, 81, was struck in Earl’s Court on the afternoon of May 10. She had been visiting her older sister at the time of the crash.

Paramedics from the London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance arrived at the scene, with the woman being taken to hospital. No other injuries were reported.

The Metropolitan Police said that at around 3.21pm a police motorcycle collided with a pedestrian at the junction of Cromwell Road and Warwick Road, SW5, while on escort duties.

An investigation into the crash by the police watchdog is ongoing.

READ MORE: Elderly woman dies after being hit by police motorcycle that was escorting Duchess Sophie

In comments to the BBC, Ms Holland’s son, Martin, said she died after sustaining “multiple broken bones and massive internal injuries”.

He said she fought “for her life for nearly two weeks… but irreversible damage to her brain finally ended the battle today”.

Martin added that she was using the “safe route of [a] pedestrian crossing” when she was struck by the motorcycle.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has been investigating the incident and said on May 19 they were appealing for witnesses and had taken CCTV from nearby properties for examination.

READ MORE: Royal Family LIVE: Charles fears George, Charlotte and Louis will repeat agonising mistake

Amanda Rowe, the IOPC regional director, said on May 19: “Our thoughts are with the woman, who has sustained life-threatening injuries, and her family.

“We have been in touch with them to explain our role and will keep them regularly updated as the investigation progresses.”

A previous statement from Buckingham Palace said: “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.”

On Tuesday, the Duchess of Edinburgh became the first UK royal to visit Baghdad.

The visit comes as part of her work to support survivors of sexual violence in conflict, with the Duchess present to learn of the challenges women and girls face.

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