By Corey Atad.

The Duke of Norfolk will have to wait a while before getting behind the wheel again.

Edward Fitzalan-Howard, also known as the Earl Marshal, has been banned from driving for six months, after he was caught using his cell phone while running a red light.

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The incident occurred in London on April 7. The Duke was pulled over after going through the red light, and according to ITV News, he told officers that he had “not been aware of going through the red light but accepted this was because he was using his mobile phone.”

In the U.K., it is against the law to use a cell phone while driving.

Given the Duke already had nine points on his license from previous speeding offences, the compulsory six points from the cell phone offence would lead to a ban.

The Duke had hoped to avoid a ban, though, arguing that such a punishment would cause “exceptional hardship” due to the nature of his duties.

Fitzalan-Howard was in charge of organizing the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II, and will be planning King Charles’ coronation, to be held next year, along with being responsible for arranging other state occasions.

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Despite the argument, a panel of judges proceeded with the ban.

“We accept that this a unique case because of the defendant’s role in society and in particular in relation to the King’s coronation,” said the chair. “The hardship needs to be exceptional and although we find inconvenience may be caused, we don’t find it exceptional hardship. We consider alternative means of hardship are available.”

The Duke will also be fined £800 and ordered to pay another £400 in other costs.


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Ellen Bullock