Monarch may marry out of the C of E
Sunday 08 March 1998
Changes to the rules of succession to the throne are already under consideration. Ministers favour in principle the idea of allowing the heir to marry a Catholic, and see no clear reason why this should not apply to other faiths. Such moves could form part of the consultation process taking place over ending the bar on first-born females from succeeding to the throne.
David Starkey, a constitutional expert at the London School of Economics, said the bar on the monarch marrying a Catholic was set out in the Act of Settlement (1701), which did not refer to other faiths; but prospective royal spouses were required to be "in communication with the Church of England", or practising worshippers, which effectively extended the bar to other religions.
"Of course, it's outdated, but when you question it, you also question the role of the established Church and move towards the idea of a group of established religions. I think that is the way Prince Charles is going and I think that would be meaningless," Dr Starkey said.
Professor Eileen Barker, professor of sociology at the London School of Economics, said a royal marriage to a Muslim or Hindu would be welcomed by the majority of the ethnic group concerned. "The wife or husband would be a symbol for them. They would be delighted because it would mean that they would be recognised."
A spokesman for the London Central Mosque said: "If they are looking at the monarch to be, as Prince Charles suggested, a king of all faiths, then it will be sensible to reflect the make-up of Britain."
Yesterday it was revealed that the Way Ahead Group, the royal think-tank, has proposed limiting the title HRH to the inner Royal Family, and that bowing and curtseying should become "optional". Dr Starkey described this as a "sensible move". He said: "It addresses the question of hangers-on, but it does not mark a real shift."
A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace indicated that there were no plans to strip the title HRH from existing holders, such as the Duchess of York's children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, but the limitations were likely to apply to future generations.
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 4 Amy Schumer: 'I'm 160lbs and can catch a d**k any time I want'
- 5 Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Amy Schumer: 'I'm 160lbs and can catch a d**k any time I want'
Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...