Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh ‘deeply saddened’ after great-grandmother hit and killed by police outrider

24 May 2023, 06:27 | Updated: 24 May 2023, 11:51

Helen Holland (pictured), 81, from Essex, was hit by a police motorcycle escorting Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh
Helen Holland (pictured), 81, from Essex, was hit by a police motorcycle escorting Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh. Picture: Family Handout/Alamy/Social Media

By Asher McShane

A great-grandmother has died two weeks after she was hit by a police motorbike that was escorting Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh on London’s A4.

The bike hit Helen Holland, 81, from Birchanger, Essex at around 3.21pm at a junction in Earl’s Court in West London on May 10.

The police watchdog the IOPC has launched a probe after investigators attended the scene alongside emergency services.

Ms Holland was in critical condition for two weeks but has since lost her fight for life. Her family told the BBC: “She fought for her life for nearly two weeks… but irreversible damage to her brain finally ended the battle today.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: "The Duchess of Edinburgh is deeply saddened to hear that Helen Holland has passed away.

"Her Royal Highness's deepest condolences and sympathies go to all of Ms Holland's family."

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Helen Holland lost her fight for life after being hit by a police motorbike
Helen Holland lost her fight for life after being hit by a police motorbike. Picture: Family handout

She suffered multiple broken bones and massive internal injuries. Her son said she had crossed the road at a pedestrian crossing when she was struck.

Her grandson, Joe Strutter Holland, posted on Facebook: “Rest in peace Nanny (Helen) Holland. One of the kindest and most joyful souls you'll ever of had the pleasure of meeting. Taken before her time.”

After the crash her family issued a statement describing her as a “beautiful, loving, kind and caring lady who would always put anyone before herself”.

They stated at the time: “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.”

Buckingham Palace issued a statement on May 11 saying the Duchess's 'heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the injured lady and her family’. 

Police said the investigation into the crash is ongoing. 

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