Can the Queen go to prison? Here's a list of British Royals who faced legal troubles

Updated: Jan 27, 2022, 04:24 PM(IST)

Have you ever wondered, can the Queen of England go to prison? What kind of immunity does she have? 

As the court proceedings in UK's Prince Andrew sexual assault case are underway, here's a list of British Royals who faced legal troubles. 

Can a member of the British Royal Family go to jail?

As the legal proceedings in Prince Andrew case are underway, a lot of people are wondering whether a member of the British Royal Family can go to prison. 

The answer is, yes. They indeed can go to prison if they are convicted as they do not have special immunity.

But one should remember that Queen Elizabeth II is covered by "sovereign immunity" in the UK as she cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil or criminal proceedings. 

The Royal Household website states: "In the earliest times the Sovereign was a key figure in the enforcement of law and the establishment of legal systems in different areas of the UK.

"As such the Sovereign became known as the "Fount of Justice".

"While no longer administering justice in a practical way, the Sovereign today still retains an important symbolic role as the figure in whose name justice is carried out, and law and order is maintained."

Here's a list of British royal figures who have faced legal action or found themselves in hot water:

(Photograph:Reuters)

Prince Andrew

Britain's Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, is facing a sexual assault lawsuit in the United States. Recently, a US judge denied a plea by Andrew to dismiss the lawsuit. 

In the aftermath, the Royal Family of Britain removed his military links and royal patronages, which were returned to the Queen and he will no longer be known as "His Royal Highness". The Palace said that the Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending the case as a private citizen. 

An American woman Virginia Giuffre filed the lawsuit, claiming that Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused her and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell trafficked her to Epstein's wealthy friends. 

She sued Andrew in August 2021, stating that she was sexually trafficked to Prince Andrew and he sexually assaulted her in 2001 when she was 17 and a minor under American law. 

Her lawyers submitted a photo of her with Andrew and Maxwell as evidence. However, Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied the accusations.  

(Photograph:Reuters)

Princess Anne

In 2002, Princess Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II was found guilty of a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act, becoming the first member of the present royal family to be convicted of a criminal offence.

She pleaded guilty after it was claimed that one of her dogs, a three-year-old English bull terrier called Dotty, bit two children as they walked in Windsor Great Park. 

She was fined was subsequently ordered to pay £148 in court costs and £500 compensation to the two victims. However, the court had ordered Anne to keep her English bull terrier. 

She also faced in 2001 when she was fined £400 for speeding in her Bentley. She admitted that she was driving at 93mph in a 70mph zone in Gloucestershire.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Prince Philip

In 2019, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II's husband, who passed away in 2021, found himself in trouble after a car crash that left a woman with a broken wrist. 

He did not face any charges as a probe against him was dropped after the late Duke handed in his driving license. 

The incident had happened near his private Sandringham estate in eastern England. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Zara Tindall

In 2020, Princess Anne's daughter Zara Tindall was banned from driving for six months after being caught speeding at 91mph near her Cotswolds home.

She was banned under the totting up procedure after she had already accumulated nine penalty points on her licence. 

She had admitted to the speeding offence which was apparently committed in her Land Rover. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

King Charles I

Some hundreds of years, when the modern-era courtrooms did not exist, King Charles I was charged with tyranny and treason, The Guardian reported. 

He was brought to trial in Westminster Hall on January 20 in 1649, after the end of the English civil war. 

He was sentenced to death on January 26 of the same year and was eventually beheaded four days later outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall, London.

(Image obtained from Wikimedia Commons - King Charles I image in a painting by unknown artist)

(Photograph:Others)

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