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Justified action

Tony Adler would appear to be an aficionado of conspiracy theories which are now all the rage (‘George V “conspiracy”’, July 26). The titillating subject of this correspondence is old hat that has certainly provided several authors with fertile ideas for sensational books and articles.

As proof, Adler criticises King George and his home secretary for vigorously pursuing a criminal libel case against Edward Mylius. What was the Crown supposed to do, grin and bear it, when Mylius accused the king of bigamy and questioned the legal status of his queen and the legitimacy of their children?

The so-called “evidence” presented by Mylius and torn to shreds by the prosecutor, Sir Richard David Muir, is easily accessible to all who are interested.

Why on earth should Muir have invoked the 1772 Act if there was not a shred of evidence that an illegal marriage had in fact taken place? Had the Crown not instituted criminal libel proceedings, doubtless Adler would have used this as “evidence” that the accusation of bigamy was both justified and indefensible. So, according to the correspondent, the Crown was damned because it did and would have also been damned if it did not. Hardly logical or fair.

However, the law is the law and even had the young Prince George contracted an illegal and, consequently, invalid marriage in Malta or Timbuctoo (of which there is absolutely no proof except hearsay and gossip), sown his wild oats and gone on to marry his future queen, Mary of Teck, so what? Royalty can be accused of many things throughout history but never of excessive chastity! Several British dukes, together with many a continental noble, are evidence of that.

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