The family of a grandmother who was hit by a motorbike escorting the Duchess of Edinburgh are “praying for a miracle” as she remains in a critical condition in hospital.
Helen Holland, 81, was on Saturday said to be in a coma after she was struck by a rider from the royal motorcade in west London on Wednesday.
Ms Holland, who is from Essex, was visiting her sister in London when the bike hit her at the junction of Cromwell Road and Warwick Road in Earls Court at around 3.21pm.
In a statement to Sky News on Saturday, the family said they were “deeply saddened and shocked” at the “tragic accident”.
“We are all praying for a miracle and ask that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers too,” they added.
They described Ms Holland as a “beautiful, loving, kind and caring lady who would always put anyone before herself”.
The family said that even though Ms Holland is aged 81, she is “sprightly for her age”.
They said that “nothing stopped her living life to the full, spending precious time with her family, muddy walks with the dogs and lunches with friends is what she enjoyed most”.
Ms Holland has four children and she is also a grandmother of 10 and great-grandmother to seven.
In their statement, the family said the incident had been a “huge shock” and said they appreciated the outpouring of love they have received.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct has launched an investigation into the accident, while the Metropolitan Police department that investigates officers’ conduct has been informed, as is routine.
Duchess Sophie, who was being escorted through west London when the collision occurred, said on Thursday that her “heartfelt thoughts and prayers” were with Ms Holland, from Birchanger, and her family.
A short statement issued by Buckingham Palace said the duchess, who is married to the King’s brother Prince Edward, “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,” the palace statement added.
“She’s lucky to be alive at all,” Martin Hennessy, 62, who lives yards away from the scene, told the Daily Mirror. “The road is a nightmare. We’ve warned the council about it. There have been three people killed here.”
“When you get to the junction you have to step out to see if anything is coming, that’s when she was hit,” the retired antiques dealer said. “I came out to walk the dogs and that’s when I saw this thoroughfare. She’d been thrown across the road and the ambulance were treating her.”