Prince Harry to testify on Tuesday It will be the first time in more than 130 years that a prominent member of the British royal family has been cross-examined in court in a phone hacking case.
The last time it happened was in 1891 and it didn’t go well for the royal family.
Prince Albert Edward (Queen Victoria’s eldest son who became King Edward VII in 1901) testified as a witness in a defamation case focused on a failed baccarat game witnessed by the Prince.
One of the players, Sir William Gordon-Cumming, was accused of cheating. The prince sided with the accusers and Gordon-Cumming lost.
As a local report at the time, Quoted in the Guardiansaid that Edward’s testimony lasted about 20 minutes and “he was very tired and extremely nervous.” The report also states that he could not sit still. At the time, too, it was unusual for a member of such a prominent royal family, let alone a future king, to appear in court.
“The prince’s face was observed to turn considerably red and then turn pale again when asked more pressing and to the point questions than usual,” the report said.
Royal critic Richard Fitzwilliams said, “Reading this, you can see why it was later decided that this was not what the royal family wanted.” It has been shown that even the Queen’s son cannot be completely defended against cross-examination. “
Book published in 1899 Revealed a letter from Edward In it, he condemned the scandal and expressed the “deep pain and discomfort” he experienced because of it.
“Nobody regrets the recent trial more than I do, but I was powerless to stop it, and the media, who knew I was vulnerable, were the most scathing against me. provided an opportunity to make an unwarranted attack on the United States,” wrote Edward.
He went on to say, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to again publicly address this painful issue that has caused me so much outburst, as this issue is now gone.”
Edward’s testimony in 1891 was not the first time a future king had appeared in court. Twenty years ago, he was testifying in the divorce proceedings of the British MP’s wife, Harriet Mordaunt, who named Edward as one of her lovers. (Edward denied it in court.) It appears that Edward was in the witness box for only a few minutes during the trial, and the appearance didn’t seem to have had much effect on his reputation, Fitzwilliams said. rice field.
Edward, known to his closest friends as “Bertie”, enjoyed a reputation as a womanizer. love for trump.
There is a big difference between Prince Harry’s court appearance on Tuesday and Edward’s. Edward was called as a witness both times when he appeared in court, but Harry was one of the plaintiffs, which probably means he knew cross-examination was in his future.
Additionally, Prince Harry is no longer an active member of the royal family, even though he’s a prominent member of the royal family. And unlike his Crown Prince, Edward, he was never first in line to the throne. Still, it could be embarrassing for Harry to stumble over a question, experts say.
Royal commentator Fitzwilliams said, “There will be no safety net like he was being interviewed in various ways.”
Not all the media in 1891 were unfriendly to Edward. the last day The New York Times wrote of his testimony in the Baccarat smear case that he was “as affable as ever” and “immaculately dressed.”
Edward was king for only nine years. In 1910, he died of pneumoniapasses the throne to his son George V.
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/05/world/europe/prince-harry-testify-court-royal-family.html Prince Harry becomes first British royal since Edward VII to testify