Leading Article: Let them marry Catholics!

Click to follow
LET THE heir to the throne marry a Catholic, if he so wishes, pleads the new Scottish Parliament in its petition to Westminster. Dr David Hope, Archbishop of York, agrees: "I cannot really see why members of the Royal Family should not be free to marry whom they will. It is a very negative view of the Roman Catholic." The Archbishop would not go further, to a complete separation of Church and state, but if discrimination against Roman Catholics is unacceptable, why in our multicultural society should the monarch not be married to a Jew, or a Sikh or even - whisper it softly - an atheist?

Half-measures are the curse of British gradualism: "too little, too late" characterises so much of our tentative bids to be part of the European Union, part of the wired-up society, part of the post-imperial world. Enough time has passed since the clouds of mystic obfuscation were blown away by the clear thinking of the Enlightenment. Don't just let the head of state marry anyone he or she wishes; go all the way, and let anyone the nation chooses be head of state.