The British aristocrat who hosted Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral was banned from driving on Monday, despite arguing that he needed his car to arrange the coronation of King Charles III.
Edward Fitzalan-Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, was suspended for six months after pleading guilty to a magistrates’ court in London on April 7 for using his mobile phone and running a red light while driving his BMW.
Fitzalan-Howard, the highest duke in England who also holds the title of Earl Marshal, had two previous speeding offenses in 2019 and was given a mandatory ban following his latest indictment.
The duke’s 65-year-old lawyer, Natasha Dardashti, asked the judge not to implement the ban because of his impending role in organizing the coronation of King Charles III, which is expected next year.
“It is an extremely special situation, with his grace, the Duke of Norfolk… now being the person in the country responsible for the coronation of His Royal Highness King Charles III,” she said.
The attorney requested a closed-door hearing to hear details of the argument due to potential national security concerns.
“Given it is such a strange situation and his grace plays such a very, very special and important role in this national coronation of a new king, I would like to ask this court to sit in front of the camera,” Dardashti said.
But the magistrates’ bench rejected the request that he would suffer “extraordinary hardship” if he were banned from the road.
“We accept that this is a unique case because of the defendant’s role in society and in particular in connection with the coronation of the king,” said bank chairman Judith Wray.
“The hardships must be exceptional and while we feel that discomfort may be caused, we do not consider it exceptional hardship.”
Fitzalan-Howard was responsible for the gathering of 2,000 people, including world leaders and foreign royals, at London’s Westminster Abbey last Monday for the Queen’s funeral, which he has hosted for 20 years.
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