Queen Elizabeth II may have turned 93 years old over the weekend, but age is clearly still just a number to the royals, as they've repeatedly proven over the past week. On Tuesday, several news outlets published photos of 97-year-old Prince Philip—who's less than two months shy of his 98th birthday—driving around the grounds of Windsor Castle. And, thanks to a delay since they were taken last Thursday, it was a big day for royals in vehicles: Tuesday also brought the publication of a series of photos taken the day before, which depict an entirely different royal—11-year-old James Viscount Severn—behind the wheel.
It's not just because Prince Philip is nearing triple digits that makes the idea of him on the road so alarming. The last time he was seen driving was without a seat belt—just two days after he crashed into another car in Sandringham, causing him to flip over his Land Rover (and surrender his driver's license).
Prince Philip—and the eight-month-old in the car he struck—survived the accident unscathed, while the two women accompanying the infant went to the hospital for their injuries. His mother, who sustained a broken wrist, and has since publicly condemned the treatment and behavior of the prince, who managed to avoid prosecution. She might be unhappy, but it's certainly worked out well for Philip; according to People, he's even been granted permission to drive without a license. (So long as he's within the grounds of his private estate, as he was on Thursday.)
The royals aren't letting the accident get in the way of their lifetime love of Land Rovers, either. Eleven may seem a bit young for them to pass it on to young James, who happens to be the Queen's youngest grandchild. But as 11th in line to the throne, it was only a matter of time before he took up driving one, too; the Queen has been driving one for decades. (While James gave it a go on Monday, the 93-year-old switched to her other favorite mode of transportation: horseback riding.)
The Queen is the only royal absolved from the U.K.'s requirements for a driver's license, but neither James nor Philip appears to have broken any laws in the past week, as both stuck to private land. That doesn't, of course, mean that their expeditions are risk-free, but neither James, who brought his mother, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, along for the ride, nor Philip seemed to mind. After all, it was just a year before he retired from public life, in 2016, that a then 94-year-old Prince Philip took Michelle and Barack Obama (and the Queen) for a spin around Windsor in a Range Rover that wasn't even bulletproof. (Oddly enough, the exact car that he drove was made available for sale just a month after the accident—it certainly didn't stop it from selling.)
The royals' insistence on vehicular freedom isn't unique to those at either end of the age spectrum. Prince Harry and Prince William have also apparently insisted on driving themselves around town as they please. "I very much feel if that I can do it myself, I want to do it myself," Prince William told CNN in 2013, after being photographed driving his then newborn son Prince George home from the hospital.
The goal might be to feel a hint of independence, or a sense of normalcy, though neither, of course, is actually the case—not with at least two vehicles of armed officers joining for the ride.