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Grandmother, 81, hit by Duchess of Edinburgh police escort dies

A grandmother who was struck by a police escort for the Duchess of Edinburgh in west London has died.

Helen Holland, 81, was hit by a motorcycle that was part of Sophie’s police escort in Earl’s Court on the afternoon of May 10.

Ms Holland had been living in London and visiting her sister at the time of the crash, the BBC reports.

In a statement previously released to Sky News, Ms Holland’s family described her as a “beautiful, loving, kind and caring lady who would always put anyone before herself”.

The family said the mother of four was a “well-respected and popular member of the community” who had 10 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

She was “sprightly for her age” and enjoyed muddy walks with dogs and lunches with friends, the statement said, adding that her death was a “huge shock for many”.

Ms Holland’s son Martin Holland told the BBC on Wednesday that she died after sustaining “multiple broken bones and massive internal injuries”.

He said she fought “for her life for nearly two weeks… but irreversible damage to her brain finally ended the battle today”.

Mr Holland said she was using the “safe route of [a] pedestrian crossing” when she was struck by the motorcycle.

The grandmother had been in a coma and was in a critical condition in hospital in the weeks prior to her death on West Cromwell Road and Warwick Road.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating.

Chief superintendent Richard Smith, head of the Met Police’s Royalty and Specialist Protection unit, told the BBC that the “tragic outcome is being felt by colleagues across the Met”.

“Officers know that their actions, both on and off duty, are open to scrutiny and following our referral of the incident, the IOPC launched an independent investigation - we continue to co-operate with and support that enquiry,” he said.

The IOPC said on May 19 they were appealing for witnesses and had taken CCTV from nearby properties for examination.

The Duchess of Edinburgh is “deeply saddened” by the death of Ms Holland, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

“Her Royal Highness’s deepest condolences and sympathies go to all of Ms Holland’s family.”