Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Demands to reform the Monarchy are nothing to do with equality

It has become a very wide bandwagon with limitless carriages, and virtually everyone is jumping aboard. And if you’re not, you’re either mediaeval or bigoted, or both. And so politicians of all persuasions, prelates of all complexions and even the Queen herself apparently favour reform.

One should hold the last one very loosely, for ‘talking to Buckingham Palace’ and ‘advisers tell contacts who tell journalists’ are not quite the same as being invited for tea and cake at Windsor Castle to hear it straight from Her Majesty’s mouth.

Once again, the Act of Settlement 1701 is in the firing line: not this time primarily because of its ‘anti-Catholic bigotry’, but because of sexist primogeniture: the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn male to inherit the throne. Since the monarch is no longer a military protector, testosterone is incidental. And since also the mystical fusion of priests with kings is long gone, there are no sacred instruments which females are forbidden to touch.

Nick Clegg rather foolishly insists that reform is now of the upmost priority because Prince William and Catherine Middleton may soon have a baby, and the reform must be in place before he or she is born.


Their firstborn immediately becomes third in line to the throne whether the child is male or female: it is only the advent of the second-born which creates an issue, and that event must be at least a couple of years off being ‘pressing’. And even then, it’s only an issue of the firstborn is a girl: if the couple have a boy first, the whole discussion can be kicked into the long grass for another generation.

But it’s not only Nick Clegg: David Cameron is now aboard, and so is ConservativeHome.

And so is Daniel Hannan.

This is not a ride on the latest Harry Potter theme park: it is foundational constitutional stuff. It is bizarre indeed that Burkean Conservatives should be queuing to support these reforms which are nothing to do with ‘equality’ and everything to do with secularism and (eventually) republicanism. Of course (pace Dr Evan Harris) these destinations will be denied. But it is interesting indeed that ‘Human Rights’ are invoked and the issue is presented as one of injustice. Discrimination against Roman Catholics in the laws of marriage is indeed contrary to Article 14 of the ECHR, which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, in conjunction with Article 12, which provides a right for men and women to marry. It is also arguably contrary to the freedom of religion of Roman Catholics protected by Article 9. In relation to male primogeniture in the law of inheritance, it is contrary to Article 14 in conjunction with Article 1 Protocol 1.113.

But the Head of State is the Monarch, and the Monarch is Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England may not be a Roman Catholic or married to one. That is the Constitution of the United Kingdom (along with Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu). To insist that the Supreme Governor of the Church of England must be in communion with the Church of England is as sensible as insisting that the Pope must be Roman Catholic. Is the Act of Settlement really more offensively discriminatory than Article 1125 of Roman Catholic Canon Law? Is not discrimination inherent in the very concept of religious adherence?

Dr Evan Harris despises the Church of England and appears to criticise it at every turn. Doubtless he knows what he’s doing to further his atheist-humanist-secularist-gay agenda. But those Conservatives who demand reform apparently do not. They fail to realise that the matter does not only concern the Act of Settlement 1701, but a number of other acts, including the Bill of Rights (1688), the Coronation Oaths Act (1688), the Crown in Parliament Act (1689), the Act of Union (1707), and the Royal Marriages Act (1772). And it is the Act of Union (1707) which ought to be of primary concern to Unionist Conservatives.

The Act of Settlement was passed by the old English parliament, which ceased to exist in 1707. The Act was also arguably incompetent, since the English parliament could not unilaterally decide on the British Regal Union of 1603-1707. The Scottish parliament recognised this fact, and deliberately countered the Act of Settlement with a Scottish settlement Act - the Act of Security of 1704. The Act of Settlement 1701 was superseded by the Treaty of Union 1707, which, in Article 2, also prohibits Roman Catholics ascending the throne of the United Kingdom. The Treaty of Union 1707 is the founding charter of the United Kingdom. Tamper with this, and the Union is imperilled.

This is why successive prime ministers of the United Kingdom and Unionist Scottish secretaries of state have no intention of ending the ban on the Monarch either being a Roman Catholic or married to one, and why they are quite happy to let historically-ignorant and politically-ill-informed people like Dr Evan Harris continue harping on about the Act of Settlement 1701.

David Cameron is right to point out that reform will take years: it is a spider's web, can of worms, knot of vipers and a house of cards all rolled into one. It may even prove a Gordian Knot. The unintended consequences will make House of Lords reform seem like a walk in the park, because the reform will, as sure as night follows day, lead to disestablishment and a secular republic.

If this were about equality, it ought to be observed that it is not only Roman Catholics who are discriminated against, but those who are born out of wedlock. Such children are no longer referred to as bastards, and even ‘illegitimate’ would fall foul of the PC police. In an era in which marriage is falling out of fashion and more than half of children are born every year to unmarried or single parents, why should the state perpetuate the absurd, ‘old fashioned’ belief that children born out of wedlock are ‘second-class citizens’, incapable of inheriting?

As ever, Shakespeare considered the point, and Edmund reasons:

Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word,--legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

So, to all who favour reform of 'old fashioned' attitudes, why stop at Roman Catholics and women? Doesn’t equality equally demand that you ‘stand up for bastards’?


Anonymous Voyager said...

Your Grace the ignorance of the 17th Century in Modern Britain is astounding since it is that Stuart Period that defines this country if only because Scottish Kings ascended the Throne of England and Civil War was a by-product.

The means chosen by Parliament to try to prevent a New Civil War were enshrined in The Bill of Rights and Act of Settlement. Tampering with those would open Pandora's Box and might even lead to a Second Civil War.....much as the complacent in this country do not believe this could happen, it might well surprise them.

The position of Judges will be called into question and they will no longer have tenure.

It cannot be that such constitutional acts are tampered with without a Referendum. On the other hand the Act of Settlement precedes all EU Treaties, by amending it they would be subservient to EU Treaties and not superior as constitutional acts.

I do believe Parliament is stupid enough to tamper with the Act of Settlement, but then again I believe the country will dissolve into civil war because so little binds it, especially North and South as the institutions all seem to be London-based and London-centric

20 April 2011 at 15:07  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

the reform will … lead to disestablishment and a secular republic.

Not just a secular republic but a secular European republic. If there is one policy on which the three main parties are agreed, it is that Britain must remain on the EU charabanc (chained to her seat if necessary) as it splutters its way to ever closer union. Institutions that arouse feelings of patriotism are serious obstacles to the creation of a brave new Europe and must be dealt with. Work has already started on downgrading the Armed Forces in preparation for a European military and the politicians will, likewise, use every opportunity to hack away at the Monarchy.

You would expect Labour and the Liberal Democrats to undermine the Crown but when His Grace’s blue-eyed boy, Daniel Hannan, climbs aboard the bandwagon...

20 April 2011 at 15:42  
Anonymous MrJ said...

"The Treaty of Union 1707 is the founding charter of the United Kingdom. Tamper with this, and the Union is imperilled.... The unintended consequences will make House of Lords reform seem like a walk in the park..."

It can be imagined that any of the Queens Regnant of the past, if alive today, would have found Mr Clegg's agitation amusing at most, but more likely as an ill-advised distraction of the flibbertigibbet kind.

20 April 2011 at 16:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservative that I am I think removing the bar to Catholics being married to the Sovereign is wise - afterall had Katherine Middleton been a Muislim Prince William could have married her, but not had she been a Catholic. The bar is on Catholics, not non-Anglicans.

And let us not forget the non jurors who refused to break their oath to their Catholic king who was Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Queen is Lord High Admiral, and is not a sailor. The Supreme GOvernor need not be an Anglican.

20 April 2011 at 16:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Demands to reform the Monarchy are nothing to do with equality..'

Of course it isn't, if you understand what Fabianism is and how it works then you'll know.

Giving equality to one woman (it will only be one woman at a time) isn't equality, it's the Left attempting to bring down an institution from the inside.

Everything they do is designed to destroy from within: mass immigration led to multiculturalism leads to Balkanism. Job done.


20 April 2011 at 16:15  
Anonymous non mouse said...

"So, come on, Mr Clegg and Mr Cameron, et al, doesn’t equality demand that you ‘stand up for bastards’?" But, Your Grace, they follow in the footsteps of our model Bastard (of 1069).

Let us not forget that Billie Conk also harrowed the country, and that it took half a millennium to get back on our feet again. The fact that Clegg isn't even British merely compounds the insult/injury - he's just the most obvious element in the puppet show.

And the puppet show is what wants reform.

wv: inglypoo
That's not funny!

20 April 2011 at 16:34  
Blogger English Viking said...

Popiness is dirty, ughhhh!

20 April 2011 at 16:34  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Daniel SHannanigans cavorted with the succubi, sound the sirens!

20 April 2011 at 16:41  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

As a Roman Catholic I do agree with your line of analysis and the drift this need for constitutional reform is taking. The Supreme Governor of the Church of England must be in communion with that church.

Question: is Charles, being married to a divorcee actually in 'communion' with his church?

I'm a bit irked that my children cannot marry a future monarch! However, if they did they could only do so if s/he vowed to raise their children as Roman Catholics. And this might produce a constitutional crisis.

So, it's disestablishment and then republicanism if these changes go ahead.

Funnily enough, even as a Catholic, I'm in favour of neither. Alternativelt, Canterbury and Rome could reunite. Would that be grand?

20 April 2011 at 17:06  
Anonymous Voyager said...

had Katherine Middleton been a Muislim Prince William could have married her

Really ? I know of no Muslims of my acquaintance married to Christians where the Christian has not had to convert to Islam.

Prince Charles is often accused of having converted to Islam, and that would disqualify him from the throne. Similarly, The Pope should make clear that there is NO obligation on any Catholic married to a Protestant to raise children in the Catholic Faith.....then again, from family I no of no case where the Catholic spouse has allowed her children to be raised other than Catholic

20 April 2011 at 17:41  
Anonymous Voyager said...

had Katherine Middleton been a Muislim Prince William could have married her

Oh, and BTW Prince William could legally have married a Prince under EU Law, but he would have found accession as difficult as Edward VIII did in marrying his harridan

20 April 2011 at 17:44  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Voyager said...
"The Pope should make clear that there is NO obligation on any Catholic married to a Protestant to raise children in the Catholic Faith...."

Actually, there is for it to be a valid marriage in the eyes of the church. A solumn promise to this effect is required before permission can be given. Read your canon law. Also, the ceremony would need a Catholic Priest involved, although an Anglican Priest can participate too.

Rules are rules ... The only other way if for the Catholic to renounce their faith or do it illicitly and face excommunication.

Not defending this or criticising it. Just telling it the way it is.

20 April 2011 at 19:24  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

The Last Dodo said...
Question: is Charles, being married to a divorcee actually in 'communion' with his church?

A pedant writes: Charles is not married to a divorcee; Camilla's first marriage was annulled. Also, at the time of his second marriage Charles's first wife was dead, so not problem for him either.

20 April 2011 at 20:00  
Anonymous Voyager said...

is Charles, being married to a divorcee

But he isn't married to a divorcee because he isn't married. Royals cannot marry in Register Offices whatever Charlie Falconer thinks. Another constitutional fudge.

20 April 2011 at 20:20  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I'm a bit irked that my children cannot marry a future monarch!

Don't need to marry. There is the other side of the sheets. David Cameron is descended from William IV via the FitzClarence "mistress" connection

20 April 2011 at 20:22  
Anonymous Voyager said...

BTW I understand Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise was the firstborn child of Queen Victoria. Had she succeeded to the Throne her son, Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht von Preußen would have succeeded to the Throne of England.

With Victoria losing the Throne of Hanover under the Law of Salic Succession (being female); her grandson Kaiser Wilhelm would have succeeded to the Throne of England

20 April 2011 at 20:26  
Blogger Gnostic said...

I'd settle for the succession missing a generation. The idea of Jug-ears the hubristic, hug an imam, anti-science moron as monarch leaves me cold.

20 April 2011 at 21:47  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Windsor Tripehound said...
"A pedant writes: Charles is not married to a divorcee; Camilla's first marriage was annulled. Also, at the time of his second marriage Charles's first wife was dead, so not problem for him either."

Now I'm confused! He isn't married in the eyes of his church - the 'union' was 'blessed'. Does this mean he's living out of wedlock? And when was Camilla's marriage 'annulled' - conveniently.

Voyager said...
"Don't need to marry. There is the other side of the sheets. David Cameron is descended from William IV via the FitzClarence "mistress" connection."

VOYAGER - good Catholic girls don't go in for this sort of thing!

20 April 2011 at 22:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that kate is one tasty chick

21 April 2011 at 01:09  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Your grace will perhaps find the comments a surprise in the ammount of 2nd rate expertise being passed as understanding . This perhaps is just the topic for Mr Harris , he is middle class , quite a bit of his living has come via the state , he has no doubt had to stand formally when the queen opens parliament , probebely found the centurys of history in the ceremony a little boring and irritating.
We have perhaps got used to understanding of monarchy as celebratory marking of time , rather than understanding its refined and intricate meaning of rule and power .It has perhaps been such a steady force in the success of our nation , that we no longer understand its force for good.
Dr Harris of course never questions why he didnt have to live through all the govermental failures of lesser countries , to be even in the position of thinking his high minded ideals have not been failures and calamites in other countries , ravaging there people to far more miserable circumstances by the liberating hyperbole than we have seen.I suggest he tries to make countries like Pakistan work before complaining about the constitutional irritations he resentfully endures here.
As someone who had some faith that coalition may ,with effort,bear some fruit , and not mounting a direct assault on all that is lib dem .It comes as somthing of a dissapointment to find Nick Cleggs telegraph article on AV, one error to much .The notion that your representative will be forced to work harder in order to encompass all the desires of the voters , may clearly lead to trouble .

What if a lib dem prospect was in hard euroscpetic constituancy , would he/she then have to consider formally agreeing to get out of the EU , to ensure he/she better represented the electorate , is that not the essence of working harder and alledged fairer votes ? surely if one wants votes to count then all opinions have equal value or have I just stumbled upon yet another error in his campaign.

21 April 2011 at 01:13  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Anonymous said...

20 April 2011 16:15

I agree, however it is important not to see Fabianism as essentially of the left. It may be the antithesis of conservatism, but then so is The Conservative Party, and many who sail under its colours.

It is vitally important that Fabianism is seen as The Establishment at play.

Yes, indeed the very establishment that would SEEM to have most to lose from the promotion of such an insanely nasty ideology.

I say SEEM, because people like Royal Families have nothing to lose except their tiresome responsibilities.

I am sure William would rather spend his time shagging his newly wed and going grouse shooting with his dad and brother then wasting his life pointlessly riding around Horse Guards Parade at mind-numbingly boring events such as Trooping The Colour.

The Royal Families of Europe's place in the higher levels of the great pyramid of international might, is as assured as it has ever been. This whether The UK later becomes a Republic or not.

This is why, The EU's greatest fans and promoters are The Royal Families of Europe, very much including the most powerful one of all, The British Royal Family.

Far for The EU taking away power from our Royal Family it actually increases it, without the need for all of the most silly Official Royal engagements.

Royal families are important but they are not the real rulers of this planet, and just as importantly, NEVER HAVE BEEN.

MONEY rules this Temporal plain, even more so today, then it did in the time of Jesus, and we all know what he was supposed to think of that particular truism.

Money, and the power it gives therefore has long since ruled the minds and actions of all successful Royalty. The successful ones quite obviously being the ones that still survive.

Therefore the people who control the money, indeed respectively create all of the worlds money, and so own our entire International, political, religious trading and banking institutions, also own The British Royal Family, there armed forces, secret and civil services, parliamentary, educational, policing, and judicial systems.

Which I am afraid to say means that they own you, me, and our entire extended families.

Fabianism is simply the manifestation of the establishment being at its most radically, and therefore 'Progressively' Evil. In this sense you could say it is Leftist.

However describing something as leftist simply gets half of the population supporting it, even though they have little or no idea what Fabianism actually is, still less who has long since been right behind it.

Fabians are understandably highly secretive about their true and ultimate aims.

George Bernard Shaw being a notable exception to this rule.

He is on record as stating, that after a long period of deliberately creating an underclass, for the purpose of bankrupting the nation state, and destroying any type of free cohesive society.

A period will follow whereby the vast majority of these now useless bottom feeders, will be as painlessly as possible eliminated from the planet one way, or another.

This, 'hopefully' (his word) resulting in a reduction of the worlds population by around 70-85%.

He proposed the most efficient method by which this could be done was by the deliberate spreading of fatal disease's, deliberately created world wars, and mass inoculations, and if all else failed gassing in concentration camps.

You may not at all be reassured to know that Tony Blair is a self-confessed Fabian, and Cameron might as well be, for all the difference he will make.

Atlas, then shrugged.

21 April 2011 at 02:08  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Is the gist of some of the above comments that there is a contrast (or even dualistic dichotomy): Randist Objectivism v. Fabianism (as a name for its adversary); and this is proposed as the source of present discontents?

That may be part but surely not the whole of the story.

Of the two, perhaps at bottom Fabianism is the more deeply afflicted with pessimism.

Sometimes G.B.Shaw could use irony more deftly than Dean Swift (one from Ireland, the other sent there).

21 April 2011 at 07:33  
Blogger D. Singh said...

At 20.00 hrs

If her marriage was annulled: then that would make her children bastards.

21 April 2011 at 08:32  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

The Last Dodo said...

Now I'm confused!

Join the club.

As I understand it, the Parker-Bowles were divorced, as civil law requires, and the marriage was also annulled which allowed Andrew Parker-Bowles, who is a Roman Catholic (Camilla's an Anglican), to re-marry in his Church.

D. Singh makes a good point. If her marriage "never existed" where does that leave her two children and several grandchildren? Totally indifferent I suspect.

Let's face it, the whole affair - if you'll excuse the expression - has descended into farce.

21 April 2011 at 09:11  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

I prefer to be mediaeval !
At least we had the Treason Act then, and all these "British" citizens who are fighting against our country would have been summarily dealt with - don't they favour the chopping off of heads?

21 April 2011 at 09:28  
Blogger Greg said...

ng comments, notably by The Last Dodo, that Catholics in mixed marriages are obliged to ensure that any children of the marriage are raised as Catholics, this isn't quite true.

In mixed marriages, the Catholic partner signs two statements.

The first states: 'I reaffirm my faith in Jesus Christ and intend to continue living that faith in the Catholic Church.'

The second states: 'I promise to do all in my power to share my faith with our children by having them baptized and raised as Catholics.'

That 'all in my power' is heavily qualified, as the Church's primary concern in these matters is to uphold the stability of the marital bond. In other words, if the raising of the children as Catholics should prove insuperably objectionable to the conscience of the non-Catholic partner, to a point where the marital bond might be weakened or threatened, then there'd be no obligation whatsoever to raise the children as Catholics.

Given this, I think it'd not threaten the monarchy's relationship with the Church of England if a monarch or an heir were to marry a Catholic.

21 April 2011 at 09:47  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Who cares?

The monarchy is an outdated, undemocratic, obsolete anachronism. I would quite happy for my dog to become the next King, if you go back far enough you will find he is related.

Let’s get rid of all this nonsense, elect a president and leave the royals to their own devices. Pay them a small amount to appear before gawping tourists but leave the important business of the state to those who have proved by education, training and election that they are fit to it. Its called democracy, I am surprised you haven’t heard of it!

21 April 2011 at 09:58  
Blogger Daniel said...

It seems to me that the arguments in favour of maintaining male primogeniture are awfully arcane and of little relevance to most people. I'm not saying that they don't have validity, but if you think the public are going to value the Act of Settlement above what they perceive as a self-evident truth that a female should have an equal right to ascend to the throne as a male, then you're mistaken.

If William and Catherine have a daughter, then a son, it's frankly unthinkable that that son could take precedence in the order of succession over his elder sister without greatly diminishing the institution of the monarchy in the eyes of the people.

Like it or not, it's the duty of the monarchy to adapt to meet the expectations of the people, not the other way round.

I have no truck with those who argue that ending male primogeniture is too complex a task. Domestically, it's straightforward. Canada, Australia and New Zealand would follow the UK's lead in making whatever constitutional changes were required and, to be frank, I don't much care what the rest of the countries who share our monarch think. Who we have as our head of state isn't an issue for a few islands in the Caribbean to decide upon.

21 April 2011 at 11:13  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I would quite happy for my dog to become the next Kin

That's only one vote !

You are most amusing Graham Davis, a Jester bringing ribald merriment to this blog. Why "elect" a President for then he would dismiss Prime Ministers and reduce Parliament to the farce of the French National Assembly.

No, Britain could not have an elected President without destroying Parliament because it is not a federal system. It would need to be an appointed President as in Germany and probably a former Prime Minister like Gordon Brown or Margaret Thatcher able to deal with the party system.

Elected, and it would mean that President would be like King George III putting his own candidates in as Prime Minister and equipped with Emergency Decrees to rule directly as with Art 23 of the Weimar Constitution when Germany had an elected made sure not to do that again after the 1933-1945 experience.

Culturally, England is more disposed to a Lord Protector. In fact a Senior General with full loyalty of the Armed Forces and Police would probably be the ideal solution, and the power to dismiss Parliament at will and invoke the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 whenever necessary

21 April 2011 at 11:21  
Anonymous Voyager said...

1933-1945 experience.

Actually it is 1930-1945 because it was Heinrich Bruening as Weimar's longest-serving Chancellor not Adolf Hitler that started Rule by Presidential Decree by-passing the Reichstag........then again Rule by Order in Privy Council is well-advanced in Britain under the Secondary Legislation route

21 April 2011 at 11:24  
Blogger rodney said...

As a practicing orthodox Roman Catholic who loves Ben XVI and the Church in all her teachings, I think it nonsensical that a UK monarch could be Catholic or anything but COE. I mean they are the head of the COE. It is like saying the Pope doesn't have to be Catholic. What pc bollocks! I may not agree theologically with the COE but this blasted pc stupidity has to end! I stand with my seperated brethren who fight this insanity.

21 April 2011 at 12:57  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Voyager 11:24 "Secondary Legislation route"

especially under European Communities Act 1972

21 April 2011 at 13:35  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Greg said...
" ... comments, notably by The Last Dodo, that Catholics in mixed marriages are obliged to ensure that any children of the marriage are raised as Catholics, this isn't quite true.

In mixed marriages, the Catholic partner signs two statements.

The first states: 'I reaffirm my faith in Jesus Christ and intend to continue living that faith in the Catholic Church.'

The second states: 'I promise to do all in my power to share my faith with our children by having them baptized and raised as Catholics.'"

Umm ... a somewhat 'liberal interpretation and no doubt it finds favour with some. What's ommitted is that the non-Catholic has also to agree to support the Catholic in raising children in that faith.

It's when children reach a more independent stage and question their parents about their respective faiths that challenges can arise.

For either party to 'agree' to their mutual pledges without intending to honour them means the 'marriage' would be based on a lie and probably sacrilegous.

A Catholic, on the above basis, would not be permitted to marry the heir to the throne unless both agreed beforehand, and meant it, their children would be baptised and raised as Catholics.

21 April 2011 at 19:39  
Anonymous judith said...

I happen to be a monarchist, but wouldn't you think the Dep Prime Minister had more important matters to concern himself with than altering the rules re primogeniture?

Or maybe the situation in Afghanistan, Libya, Irag and the Middle East, together with massive world economic crises, problems with coping with an increasing elderly population, falling standards in education, pressing need for health reforms just don't count in Mr Clegg's Alternative Universe?

21 April 2011 at 20:54  
Blogger Patient said...

Disestablishment is surely the way to go.

As it stands, the next Supreme Governor of the Church of England is likely to be a man who committed adultery during his first marriage and whose lurid sexual conversations with his mistress were headline news when the transcripts were published.

No doubt the Church has had worse leaders in its history.

But if the Anglican Communion didn't rely on a single family for its spiritual leadership, perhaps it could do better than this?

21 April 2011 at 21:59  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Patient said...
"No doubt the Church has had worse leaders in its history."

Er, yes! Try good ole 'Enry XIII, its illustrious founder.

21 April 2011 at 22:17  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Everybody knows that something must be done.

The prospect of a demise of the Crown in the not far distant future is causingt responsible bodies such as the BBC and Westminster Abbey to keep an eye on their contingency plans in the usual way.

But it can be doubted whether the spirit of the sagacious Archbishop whose name is honoured here would fail to be concerned at the meddlings of such as Sir Augustine O'Donnell and his GOD Squad or the Paymaster General, Mr Maude, and Common Purpose.

21 April 2011 at 22:31  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

judith: "I happen to be a monarchist, but wouldn't you think the Dep Prime Minister had more important matters to concern himself with than altering the rules re primogeniture?"

It's part of his job.

"The Deputy Prime Minister has special responsibility for political and constitutional reform and is at the heart of an ambitious programme for political renewal, transferring power away from the executive to empower Parliament, and away from Parliament to empower people."

22 April 2011 at 06:47  
Anonymous len said...

Doesn’t equality equally demand that you ‘stand up for bastards’?

There are plenty of them about,let them stand up for themselves! :)

Out Government have sold their souls(and us)to the E U.
Our Monarchy is merely 'window dressing'for the tourists, we all know were real power lies.

22 April 2011 at 09:33  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Daniel @ 11.13, Isn't male primogeniture bound up with the global convention that a wife takes the husband's family name on marriage?

Just about every societal model on the planet follows this convention which has lead to the creation of the royal House. There is nothing in the Constitution about a royal House, just as there is no mention of the role of political parties in the Parliament. Both social structures exist and play an important role in the political functioning of the state.

This may be a long bow to draw, but it seems to me that royal families evovle a House style. A look at English history points the way. Compare and contrast the Plantagenets, Tudors and Stuarts, each of their times but with a very different culture, being respectively French, Welsh and Scottish in origin. So it is with the Windsors who follow the Hanoverian Germanic tradition in which Victoria's husband Prince Albert played such an important role.

By ending male primogeniture you place this cultural inheritance of the monarchy at risk. By allowing female primogeniture it becomes possible for the royal house to be effectively dissolved and reformed under a new family at each generation. If the UK is going to retain the monarchy, such a state of affairs would be a spectacular own goal that guarantees its demise.

One can only conclude that Mr Clegg wants to end the British monarchy.

22 April 2011 at 22:20  
Anonymous Liverpool said...

All comments above have assumed (wrongly) that Catholics marrying an Anglican want or choose to remain RCs. I know many 'mixed' marriages in Merseyside and all children of the couples attended C of E or local authority schools, so I assume the RC lapsed - or are they excommunicated without knowing?

26 April 2011 at 05:03  

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