The accident, at Thordhildsplan in Stockholm, happened on Tuesday. The 85-year old passenger was sitting in the front seat of the taxi, in which she was returning from a heart check-up at the Karolinska Hospital. Madeleine was driving her four-wheel drive Lexus RX300, and slipped on the clutch as she waited behind the taxi at a junction, causing the car to lurch forward and crash into the taxi, palace spokeswoman Ann-Christine Jernberg told Aftonbladet.
“She thought that she saw the taxi start to move, so she started to drive off. She then bumped gently into the back of the taxi,” said Jernberg, adding that it wasn’t a “big crash”.
The force of the crash caused the 85-year old to be thrown forward. The woman, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, banged her forehead on the windscreen, and then hit the back of her head on the headrest. The woman is said to be shocked and “feeling very bad” after the incident, suffering neck pains among other things. Speaking through a friend, she told Aftonbladet that Madeleine had also appeared very upset at the scene.
“She was so nervous and shaken that her hands were shaking; I thought that tears were on the way,” she said.
Following the collision, the taxi driver went to speak to the young woman in the Lexus. It was then that he recognized the princess. Having calmed her down, he took down her driving license number.
Still, there are some comforts for Madeleine. Not everyone involved in a car prang can call on the Master of the Royal Stables to sort out the paperwork. But according to Aftonbladet Mertil Merin, who looks after the royal cars, he is planning to meet the taxi driver and contact the injured woman.
Yet if the royals have some advantages over the rest of us when they are involved in a prang, they also have to suffer a few indignities. Not least having the newspapers relate their chequered driving histories in great detail.
Madeleine’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, has been caught speeding several times, and her brother Carl Philip amassed no fewer than 19 parking fines in less than a year. But it is Madeleine’s driving that continues to attract most attention. Aftonbladet took the opportunity to remind readers of the occasion in 2003 when Madeleine drove 300 metres down a pedestrianised street in Stockholm, apparently not seeing seven signs advising her that cars were not allowed.