British aristocrat Edward Fitzalan-Howard, Duke of Norkolk, tried to escape the suspension of his license. It was he who was in charge of organizing the coronation of Carlos III.
The Duke of Norfolk, the aristocrat who organized the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, tried unsuccessfully on Monday to escape the suspension of his license with a far-fetched argument: he needs his car to prepare for the coronation of King Charles III.
Edward Fitzalan-Howard was sentenced to six months’ probation by London’s Lavender Hill Magistrate’s Court on Monday for using his mobile phone and running a red light while driving on April 7.
England’s highest-ranking duke, who also holds the title of Earl Marshal, had already received two speeding tickets in 2019, hence the severity of the penalty.
Coronation of the new king
However, the 65-year-old duke’s lawyer had asked the judge at the hearing not to enforce the ban because of his role in the new king’s coronation ceremony next year.
In fact, the Duke of Norfolk is responsible for organizing state and royal funerals, as well as the coronations of monarchs at Westminster Abbey.
“It is an extremely special situation, where His Excellency the Duke of Norfolk … is now the person responsible for the coronation” of King Charles III, Natasha Dardashti pleaded.
Recognizing “a unique case due to the social role of the accused”, Judge Judith Way considered that the inconvenience caused would not be “exceptional”.
a strange situation
The Duke’s lawyer had also requested, also unsuccessfully, that the details of the argument be kept private due to possible national security concerns:
“Given that this is such a strange situation, and that your Excellency has such a special and important role in this national coronation of a new king, I will ask the Court to sit behind closed doors.”
Edward Fitzalan-Howard was responsible for organizing Elizabeth II’s funeral for which 2,000 people, including foreign heads of state and members of royal families, gathered at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19.