Just days after anointing King Charles III, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was prosecuted in court for speeding, it emerged on Friday.
The offence occurred on October 2, and the leader of the worldwide Anglican communion tried three times to pay the £300 ($375) fine in order to avoid court action, a Lambeth Palace spokesperson said.
“He has all the paperwork to prove that he has tried to pay. Admin errors seem to be causing problems,” the spokesperson told AFP.
“He hadn’t been notified that it had gone to court.”
After the fine went unpaid, a court prosecution followed automatically and the 67-year-old archbishop on Wednesday had three penalty points slapped on his driving licence.
Under UK law, if a motorist gets 12 or more points within three years, they can be banned from driving.
The prosecution occurred on the same day that Welby intervened in a House of Lords debate to say the UK government’s plan to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda was “morally unacceptable”.
And it came shortly after the cleric on Saturday presided at the Westminster Abbey coronation of King Charles, in front of hundreds of dignitaries and a global TV audience.
Welby’s Volkswagen Golf was caught by a speed camera on a road adjacent to the River Thames as he was driving towards his official residence at Lambeth Palace, London’s Evening Standard newspaper reported.
He was driving at 25 miles (40 kilometres) per hour — five miles per hour above the speed limit on that stretch of road — and must pay a total legal bill of £510, it said.