The Duke of Norfolk, the lord who conducted the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, tried unsuccessfully on Monday to avoid a license suspension with an outrageous argument: he needed his car to prepare for the coronation of King Charles III.
Edward Fitzalan-Howard was sentenced to six months’ probation at London’s Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court on Monday for using his mobile phone while driving and running a red light on April 7.
England’s highest-ranking Duke, who holds the title of Earl Marshal, already has two speeding tickets in 2019, hence the severity of the penalty.
The 65-year-old duke’s lawyer asked the judge at the hearing not to enforce the ban because of her role in the new king’s coronation next year.
The Duke of Norfolk is actually responsible for conducting state and royal funerals, as well as coronations of monarchs at Westminster Abbey.
“This is a very special situation, where his grace, the Duke of Norfolk (…) is now Charles III, who is responsible for the coronation,” pleaded Natasha Dardashti.
Recognizing that it was “a unique case because of the defendant’s role in society”, Judge Judith thought the inconvenience caused by Way was not “unusual”.
The duke’s lawyer also failed, requesting that the details of the argument be kept private due to potential national security concerns: “This is a very strange situation, and to thank him for playing such a special and important role in this national coronation of the 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 19 September.