Factbox: British royals in court

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Prince Harry is expected to become the first senior British royal to appear in the witness box since the 1890s when he appears at the High Court in London this week as part of his lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers.

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Here is a brief history of senior royals in court:

Edward VII

The last time a senior British royal gave evidence in court involved Edward VII who, before he became king, was a witness in a slander trial in 1891 over a card game.

He was previously in the witness box in 1870, testifying in a divorce case after he was falsely accused of being the lover of a British lawmaker’s wife.

George V

His son George V was accused of bigamy by a republican newspaper in 1910 shortly after he became king.

Though he did not give evidence, George provided a written statement to the court denying bigamy. The author of the article was sentenced to one year in prison for libel.

Charles I

Charles I was put on trial for treason in 1649, after the end of the English Civil War.

He refused to recognize the authority of the court to hear his prosecution, but was found guilty and sentenced to death.

Prince Andrew

Harry’s uncle was sued in the US in 2021 by Virginia Giuffre for allegedly sexually abusing her when she was a teenager. That case focused on Andrew’s friendship with the late Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and convicted sex offender who Giuffre said also sexually abused her.

Andrew settled the case last year. He did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement and did not appear in court. He has not been charged with any criminal offense.

Princess Anne

The Princess Royal, the only daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth, pleaded guilty to speeding in 2001. She was fined 400 pounds and given five penalty points on her driving license.

The following year, Anne became the first British royal to be convicted of a criminal offense in 350 years when she pleaded guilty to failing to stop one of her dogs biting two children.

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