King Charles’ Sister-in-Law ‘Deeply Saddened’ Over Crash Death

Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, is “deeply saddened” by the death of an 81-year-old great grandmother two weeks after a crash involving the royal’s police escort, Buckingham Palace said.

Helen Holland was in London visiting her sister when she was struck by a motorcycle outrider from Sophie’s motorcade, in Earl’s Court, London, on May 10.

Buckingham Palace said Sophie, Prince Edward’s wife and King Charles III‘s sister-in-law, was “deeply saddened” and sent her deepest condolences.

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, at Royal Variety
Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, attends the 2022 Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall on December 1, 2022. Helen Holland, 81, died two weeks after being hit by a police motorcycle escorting the duchess.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The Holland family told the BBC she fought “for her life for nearly two weeks… but irreversible damage to her brain finally ended the battle.”

Helen Holland’s son, Martin Holland, said his mother’s death came after “suffering multiple broken bones and massive internal injuries.”

Before her death, the family told Sky News she was a “beautiful, loving, kind and caring lady who would always put anyone before herself.”

They added: “The family are deeply saddened and shocked at the news Helen was involved in such a tragic accident.

“Helen may be 81 years old but she is sprightly for her age and nothing stopped her living life to the full, spending precious time with her family, muddy walks with the dogs and lunches with friends is what she enjoyed most.”

The incident triggered an investigation into the police by watchdog the Independent Office of Police Conduct [IOPC].

Chief Superintendent Richard Smith, head of Royalty and Specialist Protection at the Metropolitan Police, said: “On Tuesday we received the sad news that a woman who was injured in a collision with a police motorcycle on 10 May, in West London, had died in hospital.

“Police officers come to work to serve the public and keep people safe and this tragic outcome is being felt by colleagues across the Met.

“Our thoughts are very much with the woman’s family and loved ones at this sad time.

“Officers know that their actions, both on and off duty, are open to scrutiny and following our referral of the incident, the IOPC launched an independent investigation—we continue to co-operate with and support that enquiry.”

The collision happened at the junction of two major West London roads, West Cromwell Road and Warwick Road, around three miles from Buckingham Palace.

Newsweek understands the duchess’ vehicle was not involved and the royal did not witness the crash.

Newsweek contacted the IOPC for comment.

Jack Royston is chief royal correspondent for Newsweek, based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email We’d love to hear from you.

welcome to your

Leave a Comment