Monday, November 9, 2009

A royal chapel for Roman Catholics

Christopher Howse at the Guardian is hoping against hope, perhaps, that the next King and Queen of England will be Anglicans and that the Act of Settlement 1701 will be in place.

The Queen's Chapel is a mysterious place. To be sure, it is open for services, but these take place only on Sundays between Easter and the end of July. It is locked the rest of the time.

A remarkable claim in a new book by David Baldwin is that the monarch can turn it over to the ministrations of the Roman Catholic Church for any members of the Royal family who care to receive them.

One might have thought such provisions would have been quashed by the Act of Settlement of 1701, which forbade heirs to the Crown to marry Catholics. But in Royal Prayer (Continuum, £16.99), Mr Baldwin demonstrates that the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1661 is still in force and kicking.


More reading on the Coronation Oath, here.

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