The Duke of Edinburgh is to voluntarily give up his driving licence, Buckingham Palace has said.

It comes after the 97-year-old duke apologised over a car crash near the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, in which his Land Rover Freelander landed on its side after a collision with a Kia.

Two days later Norfolk Police gave him “suitable words of advice” after he was pictured driving without a seat belt.

Buckingham Palace said that he surrendered his licence on Saturday.

In a statement, the palace said: “After careful consideration the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence.”

Norfolk Police confirmed that the duke had surrendered his licence to officers and it would now be returned to the DVLA.

The investigation file for the collision has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, which said it would take the latest development into account.

BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond, said the decision to give up his licence was entirely down to the duke, according to Buckingham Palace.

“The duke is reported to have acknowledged that the collision last month was his fault,” he said.

“There was a fair deal of criticism of his decision to drive just two days after the crash. Now he has chosen to give up some of his independence and will have a driver from this point on.”

The duke wrote to a woman injured in the crash, which happened on 17 January on the A149 near the Queen’s country estate.

He escaped injury, but Emma Fairweather, a passenger in the Kia, broke her wrist.

The Kia was carrying three people, including a nine-month-old baby boy, his mother who was driving and Ms Fairweather, 46.

In the letter to Ms Fairweather, dated 21 January and reproduced by the Sunday Mirror, the duke acknowledged the “very distressing experience”.

“I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident,” he wrote, on Sandringham House headed paper.

“The sun was shining low over the main road. In normal conditions I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming… but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.”

Ms Fairweather had previously criticised the duke for a lack of communication following the crash.

The mother-of-two told the Sunday Mirror: “I thought it was really nice that he signed off as ‘Philip’ and not the formal title. I was pleasantly surprised because of the personalised nature.”