Duke, who was arranging the Queen’s funeral, was not allowed to drive

A PEER who organized the Queen’s funeral has been banned from driving despite claiming he needs his driver’s license to arrange the King’s forthcoming coronation.

The Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, pleaded guilty to using his mobile phone while driving at Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court in London.

Edward Fitzalan-Howard, who lives in Arundel Castle, was stopped by police on April 7 after driving his BMW through a red light in Battersea.

Prosecutor Jonathan Bryan told judges the Duke said he “didn’t know he ran a red light but accepted it was because he was using his cellphone” to speak to his wife.

The court learned he had already accumulated nine penalty points on his license from two previous speeding offenses in 2019, meaning a further six would result in a ban.

The Duke argued he would suffer “extraordinary hardship” if disqualified, emphasizing his official duties along with his conservation work to prevent “nature’s complete collapse”.

However, a bench of judges chaired by Judith Way awarded him six points and banned him from driving for six months.

Ms Way said: “We accept that this is a unique case because of the defendant’s role in society and particularly in relation to the King’s coronation.

“The harshness has to be exceptional, and while we recognize that discomfort can be caused, we do not perceive it as exceptional harshness.”

The Duke, who is the oldest lay member of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain and a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, was also fined £800 and ordered to pay a further £400 in other costs.

He testified in secret for more than 30 minutes after judges ruled that the media and the public should be barred from the court on “national security” grounds.

It followed a motion by his lawyer, who said details of the coronation should remain secret until after the event.

In open court, the Duke of Norfolk told judges his office and local train station were four miles from his home at Arundel Castle and said losing his license could be “very, very serious” and result in the loss of jobs for up to lead 30 of its employees.

While saying he has the financial means to hire a driver, he said, “Having enough drivers to do this job of getting me to the right place is almost impossible.”

The Duke previously described organizing the Queen’s funeral as “both humiliating and daunting” and is now in charge of organizing the King’s coronation, which is expected to take place in the spring or summer of next year.

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22645090.duke-arranged-queens-funeral-banned-driving/?ref=rss Duke, who was arranging the Queen’s funeral, was not allowed to drive

Fry Electronics Team

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