In "A Scandal in Bohemia," why was Irene and Godfrey's wedding significant to the case?

Quick answer:

The wedding of Irene and Godfrey in "A Scandal in Bohemia" has an important impact on the case in that it means that it will be more difficult for Holmes to obtain the photos. Now that Irene is married, she'll be even more determined to keep her photos hidden. An additional impact of the wedding is that Irene no longer wants to publish the photos, meaning that King Wilhelm no longer has to worry about any scandal arising.

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Once Sherlock Holmes hears about Irene Adler's marriage to the lawyer Godfrey Norton, he immediately understands its significance to the case to which he's been assigned. Now that Irene has been married, she'll be even more determined than ever to keep her compromising photos well out of sight, free from prying eyes. The last thing that Irene would want would be for her new husband to see those photos, as this would cause huge problems in their marriage.

Straight away, Holmes understands just what this means. Irene will go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that her photos remain hidden. In turn, this will make it incredibly difficult for Holmes to get his hands on them, thus negatively impacting his ability to help out his client King Wilhelm, who, of course, wants to take possession of the photos in order to avoid an almighty scandal.

However, the upside for Holmes and King Wilhelm in Irene's marriage to Godfrey is that she no longer has a mind to publish the photos. Doing so would cause a huge scandal, not just to King Wilhelm, but to Irene and her new husband, and that's obviously something that Irene wishes to avoid like the plague. So, although Irene's marriage has made it more difficult for Holmes to obtain the compromising photos, it's also ensured that there's no danger whatsoever of those photos ever coming to light.

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