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The king's prize
King Frederick VI offered a prize in the form of a medal for "the first man to discover any new comet with the aid of a telescope". After being succeeded by his son, King Christian VIII, a new comet appeared, with multiple competing claims from numerous countries as to who first discovered it, including the British astronomer William Rutter Dawes.
However, King Christian VIII was ultimately swayed by Harvard President Edward Everett, who passionately argued on behalf of Maria Mitchell, a young woman hailing from Nantucket in the American state of Massachusetts. Dawes urged the Chargé d'Affaires of the United States at Copenhagen to consider that "as the fact of Miss Mitchell's prior discovery is undoubted, and recognized throughout Europe, it would be a pity that she should lose the medal on a mere technical punctilio".
- King Frederick VI is based on the real-life monarch of the same name (Jan. 28, 1768 – Dec. 3, 1839), who ruled as King of Denmark from Mar. 13, 1808 until his death on Dec. 3, 1839. He was also King of Norway prior to the Treaty of Kiel, which decreed that Norway be ceded to Sweden, making Frederick VI the last king of Denmark–Norway.
- The only mention of King Frederick VI in the Ace Attorney series to date is in a side column on the back of the London News newspaper added to the court record as evidence in the The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve episode, The Return of the Great Departed Soul. The article itself concerns the recognizing of Maria Mitchell by King Christian VIII as the first to discover a new comet with a telescope.
- The real-life King Christian VIII did indeed award Maria Mitchell with a prize in the form of a gold medal for the discovery of C/1847 T1, colloquially known as "Miss Mitchell's Comet". However, there are notable differences from what is stated in the newspaper article in-game:
- Christian VIII was King Frederick VI of Denmark's half-first cousin, (his father's half-brother's son), not his son, as stated in-game; Frederick VI had no surviving sons to succeed him, only two daughters, who could not succeed him due to the laws of succession at the time.
- The terms of Frederick VI's 1832 offer of gold medal prizes to anyone who discovered a comet using a telescope did not state that it had to be a man who claimed it. It was also not just a one-off offer, as implied by the in-game newspaper, instead being awarded to the "first discoverer" of each new telescopic comet unable to be seen with the naked eye. Although there were not innumerable competing discoverers for the comet, as stated by the newspaper, there was a brief question of credit, as Francesco de Vico had independently discovered the same comet two days after Mitchell, but reported it to the European authorities first. However, as Mitchell had previously submitted her calculation of the comet's orbit, this ensured that she was ultimately credited as the rightful "first discoverer".