Last week, Prince Phillip made headlines as he decided to not wear a seatbelt just days after having a car accident. Sitting behind the wheel with not being buckled in caused quite the controversy. But there may be a reason as to why royals don’t always wear seatbelts.
Hello! spoke with former Royal Protection Officer Simon Morgan, of Trojan Consultancy. Morgan explained that the decisions to wear a seatbelt are made on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes, royals may choose not to strap in if they may need to make a quick exit in the chance of an emergency.
“There are always anomalies. In threat and risk matrix it’s a matter of looking at each individual situation to decide what is the best way of achieving what needs to be achieved.” Morgan went on to add, “For example, considering that a quick entry or exit to a vehicle is easier when people aren’t’ strapped into seatbelts.”
Sometimes it may not be about safety, Morgan says it can be about a royal’s appearance and what their personal preference is. “Also, what is significant about this event or situation? Is an individual’s look and appearance important? And also an individual’s choice.” He then added, “Protection is a very unique area of policing, and there are a lot of grey areas, but you are always judging each situation to weigh up the risks and threats with the outcomes you are trying to achieve.”
After Prince Phillip was seen without his seatbelt, many wondered if royals are exempt from the law. However, The Queen and her family are not given a free pass but there are times when they are not legally required to wear a seatbelt. Times in which they do not need a seatbelt include a procession organized by or on behalf of the Crown. Another case is if their vehicle does not have seatbelts in the first place. Which happens in the case of classic cars in which, the family has several.