THERE has been a degree of ageism to some of the responses to the Duke of Edinburgh’s car crash near Sandringham on Thursday.

Just because someone is in their 90s, it should not automatically be assumed that they are incapable of controlling a car. The DVLA requires drivers over the age of 70 to renew their licence every three years, and has strict medical criteria that must be met.

As the average age of our population continues to increase, we are going to have to accept that people cannot be expected to completely transform their way of life just because they are growing older.

However, the Royal family should set an example and the photographs that emerged this weekend, showing the Duke of Edinburgh driving two days after his accident without wearing a seatbelt, are very disappointing.

They send out an extremely poor message and suggest the Duke has learned little from Thursday’s events, when his Land Rover Freelander collided with a Kia on the A149.

A spokeswoman for the Norfolk Constabulary says the force are aware of the photographs, and have “spoken to the driver”.

It is to be hoped they did not treat him any differently to any other member of the public during those discussions. Failing to wear a seatbelt is a serious offence, and can result in an on-the-spot fine of £100.

Presumably, the Duke of Edinburgh can afford such a sum. Indeed, it would be a small price to pay to repair the damage caused by his lack of self-awareness.