A woman has died after being hit by a royal motorcade that was escorting King Charles’ sister-in-law

sophie duchess of edinburgh

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, follows in a car as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, aboard the State Hearse, travels inside Windsor Castle on September 19, 2022.GLYN KIRK/Pool via REUTERS

  • An 81-year-old woman has died after being struck by a motorcycle escorting a British royal.

  • Helen Holland died due to brain injuries that occurred after the crash on May 10.

  • The vehicle was escorting the Duchess of Edinburgh, who said she was “deeply saddened” by the news.

An 81-year-old woman has died after being hit by a police motorcade that was escorting King Charles’ sister-in-law, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, BBC News reports.

Helen Holland, from Birchanger in Essex, was in London visiting her sister on May 10 when she was hit by the motorcycle in Earl’s Court, London, according to the publication. She was taken to hospital and remained in critical condition for two weeks, BBC News reported on Wednesday.

In a statement issued to the BBC, Holland’s family said she  fought “for her life for nearly two weeks… but irreversible damage to her brain finally ended the battle.”

Holland’s son, Martin, said in a statement obtained by the Daily Mail that she had suffered “multiple broken bones and massive internal injuries” in the lead-up to her death. He added that she had been struck by the vehicle after using the “safe route” as she used a pedestrian crossing to cross the road next to traffic lights.

The Duchess of Edinburgh said she was “deeply saddened” to hear of Holland’s death and sent her “deepest condolences” to all the family, according to a Buckingham Palace statement issued to BBC News.

The events that led to Holland’s death are being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

In a statement shared to IOPC’s website on Friday, a spokesperson for the organization said it was looking for eyewitnesses and confirmed that an independent investigation was underway.

A spokesperson for IOPC told Insider that further updates are due to be issued to the press later on Wednesday.

Chief Supt Richard Smith, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Royalty and Specialist Protection Unit, told BBC News that the police will “continue to co-operate with and support” the investigation and that “thoughts are very much with the woman’s family and loved ones.”

Martin Hennessy, who said he witnessed the aftermath of the crash, told the Daily Mail that black screens which had been placed around an electricity unit close to the crossing where Holland was struck meant pedestrians were unable to see oncoming traffic.

Representatives for Buckingham Palace and Metropolitan Police did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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