Royal who organised Queen’s funeral tried to dodge driving ban by saying he has King’s coronation to organise
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A Duke who helped organise Queen Elizabeth's funeral has argued that he can't lose his driving licence as he needs to organise King Charles III's coronation.
The Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, 65, pled guilty today (26 September) to using his mobile phone while driving - an offence which the duke was apprehended for on 7 April.
The incident took place in Battersea, London, when the Duke, who is descended from Elizabeth I, was caught going through a red light in his BMW while using his phone, prosecutor Jonathan Bryan revealed.
When questioned by a police officer, the Duke reportedly said that he was not 'aware' that he had gone through a red light and was 'in communicate with his wife'. He then accepted that he hadn't been aware because he was on his phone.
The Earl Marshal is the highest ranking duke in England, but he has had more than few brushes with the law when it comes to his driving.
He has nine points on his licence from two separate speeding offences and could now find himself acquiring another six and losing it altogether.
The court also heard that he is now arguing 'exceptional hardship' so that he can hold onto his licence, which he says is essential in enabling him to organise the upcoming coronation.
The Duke's lawyer, Natasha Dardashti, applied for this part of the case to be kept private from the public and press on the grounds of national security.
"It is an extremely peculiar situation, whereby his grace, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshal, was responsible for the preparation and organisation of the funeral of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and he is now the person in the country who is responsible for the coronation of His Royal Highness King Charles III," she said.
The Duke's lawyer continued: "In relation to the exceptional hardship argument, his grace will need to provide some detail and information about the preparation of the coronation of His Royal Highness King Charles III.
"The application for this matter to be in camera is for reasons of national security and because details of this will be provided which have not yet been discussed with His Royal Highness, and not yet discussed with the Prime Minister and not yet discussed with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
"It would be unacceptable for these details to be made public or made known to risk the escape of that information of a very sensitive nature."
She explained that the information revealed should therefore be kept private until King Charles has been officially crowned.
The lawyer also told magistrates: "Very few people have been made aware of the date, the more sensitive the material the fewer people are yet to be involved in that.
"Organisation of a national state occasion involves considerable matters of national security, not just the public and officials in this country but world leaders attending the UK.
"In order to be able to properly advance this argument it would require his grace to go into details, and to allow the press to remain will prohibit him putting forward much of the information he needs to put."
The trial will continue.