Sunday, April 6, 2008

King Francis?

The Telegraph has an utterly ridiculous article claiming that if the Act of Settlement (which excludes Roman Catholics from the British throne) were repealed, the Duke of Bavaria (genealogical heir of Charles I) would suddenly become King of England and Scotland. This all sounds very exciting, but has the minor drawback of being complete nonsense, as the article itself practically admits by the end. (It's irritating when journalists do this: imply something totally outlandish in the headline and/or opening sentences, and then at the end of the article finally have to concede that their sensational prediction probably will not actually amount to anything.) There is in fact no reason to believe that the repeal of the Act of Settlement (which I do not advocate) would have any retroactive effect whatsoever. It would merely open the door to future Roman Catholic monarchs or consorts from the present line. To declare that Roman Catholics are no longer to be excluded from the succession does not equal pretending that they were never excluded in the first place! By law, the Queen remains the Queen whether laws governing the succession (i.e., who comes after her) are changed or not.

I'm also somewhat perplexed by the claim that "there remains bitter feeling among many Catholics" at the deposition of the Stuarts. Really? Just how many British Catholics today go around tormented by bitterness at the events of 1688? Now there are plenty of historical events that I'm bitter about...1649, 1793, and 1918 come to mind, and I'm not a big fan of the so-called "Glorious Revolution" myself. But I don't think most people are like that.

No one would be happier than I for Duke Franz, by all accounts a charming and intelligent man, to be crowned King of Bavaria, reclaiming the rights of his Wittelsbach ancestors. But the British throne is already occupied--and quite satisfactorily, I think!

5 comments:

Jonathan Bennett said...

I must admit that, as a Catholic and a keen supporter of the German nobility, I am attracted to the Jacobite cause, though right now I am merely a curious observer to the matter.

However, as the article points out, Prince Franz has no intention of pursuing his claim to the British throne. Perhaps at some point in the future the heirs of the Houses of Windsor and Wittelsbach could be joined in marriage, uniting the two lines of succession.

In regards to the possibility of the repeal of the Act of Settlement I am divided. On one hand I recognize that the Act is the main legal force which keeps the United Kingdom a Christian nation (albeit in name only) and helps uphold the monarchy; at the same time I see the Act as a major obstacle in the conversion of England, as promised by Our Lady of Walsingham. The preservation of a strictly Protestant monarchy keeps the state from completely falling to secularism, but it also prevents the complete restoration of the Catholic Church in England.

All that being said, I agree that the article is ridiculous in that it suggests Her Majesty the Queen could deposed and replaced with the Duke of Bavaria simply by abolishing the Act of Settlement. The only value in the article is shock value.

Matthias said...

Couldn't the act be edited simply to keep all none christians from holding the throne? That way the issue of England being a Christian nation remains, and Catholics can then be able to take the throne.

As for the Stuarts, I think that it would be nice for wittelsbach to be joined with the windsor family.

BaronVonServers said...

There are several Roman Monarchies,  No need to get rid of the Anglican one(s)... (and any change would need to be coordinated with all the Realms would it not?).

bigbrowncello said...

Hear, hear! Well said, dear friend. I am a Catholic and am quite happy with Elizabeth II!

Jonathan Bennett said...

Well, as a Catholic it is, and must always be, my most fervent desire that the whole world be converted to the true faith. That includes England and Her Majesty. I would be at fault if my wish was otherwise.