The royal family’s Land Rovers have had their audible seatbelt warnings disabled, according to a source.
The relevation comes after both the Queen, 92, and Prince Philip, 97, were pictured not wearing their belts in the days following the Duke of Edinburgh’s car crash near the Sandringham estate.
An anonymous source told The Sun that Jaguar Land Rover was told to disable the seatbelt alarm on vehicles that it supplied to the royals, which include Range Rovers and the duke’s Land Rover Freelander.
The alarms usually sound if a vehicle sets off without the seatbelts fastened – increasing in intensity if the occupants don’t buckle up. Under UK law, occupants of a car must belt up on public roads unless they have a medical exemption granted by a doctor.
Lawrence Waterman, chairman of the British Safety Council, told of his deep disappointment at the duke. “It’s not as if it’s onerous or difficult, and the law requires it,” he said.
“Obviously these safety devices are a helpful reminder and I’m very disappointed as I do feel the royals should be setting a better example.
“Whether or not the device was working, Prince Philip should be wearing a seatbelt. He’s old enough to know what he should be doing and frankly I feel he’s showing a disrespectful attitude to the rest of us.”
Meanwhile, Brake road safety organisation director Joshua Harris said: “Not wearing a seatbelt flies in the face of decades of evidence and puts your life at risk.”
Requests to Jaguar Land Rover for a statement were referred to the Royal Household, which refused to comment.