A woman in her 80s was left fighting for her life after a collision with a police motorcycle escorting the Duchess of Edinburgh in west London.
Buckingham Palace has said Sophie’s “thoughts and prayers are with the injured lady and her family” after the crash in Earl’s Court.
The pensioner was in a critical condition in hospital following the collision at 3.20pm Wednesday.
It is understood the Duchess, who is married to Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh, was being escorted by motorcycle outriders when the incident happened at the junction of Warwick Road and West Cromwell Road.
Two motorcycles, one with King Charles’ cypher, were seen inside the cordon following the collision.
The Special Escort Group provides armed escorts for Royal family members, VIPs, protected members of the Government, visiting royals, heads of state and other visiting dignitaries. They are also sometimes used to accompany high security prisoners.
Accident investigators have been gathering evidence at the scene and an internal inquiry by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards has also been launched.
Witnesses described how police and passers by raced to give the pensioner emergency medical attention. A huge police cordon was thrown up around the scene causing rush-hour tailbacks.
Tricia Connelly, 31, who lives nearby, said: “There were blue lights from the emergency services everywhere. There were people huddled around a person on the ground. It was very harrowing.
“There were police bikes there and shortly before the accident I had seen a motorcade going past me. That junction is horrible it’s a death trap.”
Student Karl Lehman said: “I was returning from college and heard a screech and then a scraping noise. There were some police there with bikes, and then people were pushed back so the woman could get medical attention.”
The junction has multiple pedestrian crossings and is on the A4 with the eastbound lane heading into central London and west towards Heathrow.
A worker at a Tesco which is next to the scene said: “We saw sone motorcyclists and a convoy, then there was a scream. There was a lady on the ground.
“The police were trying to help her then there were ambulances. The junction is very dangerous, we see incidents all the time.”
A Met Police spokesperson said: “A woman has been injured after being involved in a collision with a police motorcycle in west London.
“At approximately 15:21hrs on Wednesday, 10 May a police motorcycle on escort duties was involved in a collision with a member of the public on the junction of Cromwell Road and Warwick Road, SW5.
“Paramedics from the London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance attended and a woman, aged in her 80s, has been taken to hospital.
She remains there in a critical condition. Her family have been informed.
“There are no reports of any other injuries. Enquiries into the circumstances of the collision are ongoing.
“Road closures remain in place while the scene is dealt with.
“As is routine, the Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed.”
A palace spokesman said: “The Duchess’s heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the injured lady and her family.
“She is grateful for the swift response by the emergency services and will keep abreast of developments.
“Further comment at this time would not be appropriate while the incident is being investigated.”
An independent investigation has been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.