The Duke of Norfolk, the aristocrat who organized the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, tried in vain this Monday to escape the suspension of his license with an unusual argument: he needs his car to prepare for the coronation of the King Charles III.
Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court in London sentenced Edward Fitzalan-Howard to six months’ retirement on Monday (September 26) 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.
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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 a very special situation, where His Grace the Duke of Norfolk (…) is now responsible for the coronationof King Charles III, pleaded Natasha Dardashti. Grateful “a unique case due to the defendant’s role in society“, Judge Judith Way considered that the inconvenience caused would not be”exceptional“.
The Duke’s lawyer had also requested, also unsuccessfully, that details of the argument be kept private due to possible national security concerns: “Since this is such a strange situation, and your grace 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.“.
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Edward Fitzalan-Howard was responsible for organizing the funeral of Elizabeth II for which 2,000 people, including foreign heads of state and members of royal families, gathered at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19.