Princess Caroline of Monaco took to the witness box today to defend her husband against claims he beat up a hotel manager in a row over a loud disco.
The princess, 52, only agreed to give evidence in the German court after demanding special conditions that the media be kept at least three yards from her at all times.
Her husband Prince Ernst August of Hannover is being retried on charges of causing serious bodily harm in the 2000 incident in Kenya.
The princess, clad in black, told the court in English that her husband “got angry” with Josef Brunlehner, owner of a hotel on Lamu Island, and slapped him twice with an open hand after becoming irritated at the noise from a disco.
“I would say it was not very strong. It was more symbolic,” Caroline testified.
August, 55, great-grandson of the last German emperor, Wilhelm II, is being retried after being convicted in 2004.
He does not deny the assault but wants the charge and sentence reduced.
In the first trial, the court ruled that August repeatedly hit Mr Brunlehner with a metal ring that he was wearing in January 2000.
August said that he only slapped him. His wife added that her husband never wears rings – not even his wedding ring.
Kenyan authorities did not arrest August after the incident, but it was pursued in Germany where the law allows prosecutors to charge citizens who commit crimes abroad.
It is not August’s first run-in with the law; he was fined in 1999 for attacking a German photographer and had his licence suspended for a month in 2003 for speeding in France.