Ever since Prince Philip overturned his Land Rover during a scary car accident on Thursday, January 17, a lot has been made of the royal family’s apparent dislike of seat belts while driving or riding in cars. Luckily, a former royal bodyguard just revealed the reason why members of the British monarchy sometimes forgo safety belts — and it’s, frankly, fascinating.
According to Simon Morgan, some people in the royal family interestingly don’t wear seat belts for their own safety. “There are always anomalies. In the 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. For example, considering that a quick entry or exit to a vehicle is easier when people aren’t strapped into seat belts,” the ex-guard explained to Hello! magazine.
Morgan then revealed that it’s a case-by-case basis, and a royal’s appearance or personal preference may be taken into consideration. “Also, what is significant about this event or situation? Is an individual’s look and appearance important? And also an individual’s choice,” he said. “Protection is a very unique area of policing and there are a lot grey areas, but you are always judging each situation to weigh up the risks and threats with the outcomes you are trying to achieve.”
And yet, a CNN study once revealed that Princess Diana, who tragically passed away in a 1997 car accident, could have been saved if she was wearing a safety belt. “Without seat belts, both the head and chest of a person sitting in the right rear seat — where Diana sat — would have hit the back of the front seat with great force,” computer crash analyst David Renfroe previously stated. “Those are both very survivable kinds of impacts [if she was protected].” According to Renfroe, the Princess of Wales might have only suffered injuries like broken ribs or a broken sternum if she’d been wearing a seat belt in the crash.
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