Henry VIII, as de facto head of the Mornington Crescent-playing world, had certain privileges not open to other players. These stemmed from early playing of the game by the nobility and made it easier for the Royal players to win. Although the rulebooks survive from this period in the IMCS
museum, it remains unclear what privileges were allowed Royalty except in the case of the Royal Shunt. This is best seen in the now-famous Rex-Cranmer-Howard game. Although it seems to be a two-move game, it can be seen that Henry is using his Royal Privilege to shunt Cranmer away from what he (Henry) regarded as over-advantageous positions. This places Cranmer under a Shunt Obligation
and so he is forced to move out of turn. Consequently the game has four moves, as follows :
- Henry VIII: Bear Gardens
- T Cranmer: Holy Trinity Aldgate then Royal Shunt to St Bartholomew, Smithfield then Royal Shunt to Houndsditch
- K Howard: Mornington Crescent (Good play but unfortunately Henry wasn't chuffed...)
Only through the intervening two moves did Katharine Howard build enough spin to employ her victorious Back-Pass Trump Manoeuvre.