On the repeal of the Act of Settlement, or not!

I’m grateful to Brian Feeney for a heads up on this item on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme debating whether to repeal the the 1701 Act of Settlement or not. I’ve not listened to it yet, but Feeney notes in yesterday’s column that it pits historian William Dalrymple (for repeal) against Jeffrey Donaldson (for retention). Sounds like it should be worth listening to!

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  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    The act of settlement will eventually go— what I find interesting is that there is an historian debating it should be repealed rather than anyone in sinn fein.
    Also, like I said on another thread–the act of settlement is one of the reasons for being for the DUP and the orange order. Without this act that makes it illegal for a Catholic to ascend the throne of britain yet allows a muslim or a satanist—the hatred for the Catholic Church it’s Pope and it’s members will no longer be sanctioned by the government of britain.
    Ever since my sister and I have made this a linch pin and contacted people all over the world about this and included it into our Supreme Court case….more and more people are aware and more and more people are starting to say NO!
    Look at Scotland- their highest ranking Catholic Bishop is speaking out against this law. The BBC is holding debate—- it will go and Sinn Fein is sitting on the side lines not wanting to make it an issue…makes me wonder about the intention of the leadership of sinn fein. Obviously they are happy that the majority of their constituents—Catholics —are enshired as lesser people with lesser rights—otherwise they would have done what we told them to do for years…fight against the act of settlement.

  • DK

    Kathy_c – what a waste of a life to dedicate so much time to repealing an insignificant act from more than 300 years ago – and purely out of spite for the Orange Order!!!

    You have to go to the 15th in line to the throne before you would get a catholic:


  • Greenflag

    We Irish (the vast majority of us anyway) don’t care about the Act of Settlement . We are anti royalty and anti monarchy while at the same time support the British people’s right to their ‘monarchy’ as that is their preference. If the British Queen or King converted to Catholicism tomorrow this would not change the attitude of most people in Ireland both North and South to the role of the British Government in Northern Ireland . The Unionist minority in Ireland (15%-20% ) want British rule to continue in Northern Ireland while the 80% would as soon see it end .Within Northern Ireland itself there is a small majority in favour of British rule continuing 55% to 45 % approx.

    Whether or no the Scots opt for full independence or not is their business . Good luck to them either way would be the main Irish response .


    No Irish Republican or Nationalist regardless of religious denomination will ever sit on the British throne nor would they want to. Britain needs it’s monarchy to attract tourists and to keep the tabloids occupied with the latest scandal from the degenerate and dysfunctional royal family .

    God shave the Queen 🙂

  • Glensman

    Kathy C,

    There is no real reason for Sinn Fein to work on this as a ‘core issue, the party is not for a monarchy, so why would Sinn Fein put in time and effort to reforn the english monarchy when it shouldn’t affect Irish people.
    Gaelscoils and Irish Language acts are FAR more pressing issues.

  • Realist

    “yet allows a muslim or a satanist” (to ascend to the throne)

    Does it?

    Is the Monarch not automatically the head of the Church Of England and “defender” of that faith?

    Genuine question.

  • DK


    Yes, it just stipulates a non-Catholic. There are several Orthodox christians in line for the throne, as well as lutherans etc (e.g. King of Norway). The most immediate are C of E.

  • Observer

    Well argued by Jeffery Donaldson!

    Is the Monarch not Head of the Church of England (Protestant), and ineffect therefore Head of the Church of Ireland since it’s Anglican?

  • Realist


    Is it not the case that the Monarch must be “Christian” – albeit, a non Catholic?

    I was surprised by kathy c’s assertion that a muslim or a satanist can ascend to the throne – ie. non Christians

  • DK

    From my brief reading of the subject, I must defer to Kathy_C’s maniacal obsessive knowledge of royal succession and say that yes, a Satanist could be on the throne. One objection to a catholic on the throne is that they would have a higher power in the Pope that they would defer to; however, this objection is equally valid for the Orthodox christians who have the Patriach as their Pope equivalent. But there wasn’t a civil war over them.

    But it’s all a moot point as there would have to be a lot of royal deaths or William marrying a Catholic (before becoming king) for it to even come up. At which point, given the choice between denying William the crown and facing a discrimination case based on the human rights act, parliament would almost certainly amend the act.

    In the mean time, there are much more important things for Parliament to spend its time on, like postage stamp design, or pleasure cruise regulations and such.

    One amusing possibility is that parliament amends the act and a commonwealth country doesn’t follow suit. This could mean that there would be a separate king of, say, Australia.

  • BeardyBoy

    Excellent news – can we ever dare hope for the restoration of the Stuart line and the denouement of the usurpers?

    The white rose can flower again in the three kingdoms

    For Stewart Aye

  • Miss Fitz

    There were some other points of interest on this broadcast. William Dalrymple noted that Radio 4 ‘had to go to Northern Ireland to find someone to defend this silly act’. He also said that this kind of ‘Unionist rhetoric was representative of the vanished vision of Britain.’ Finally, in Dalrymple’s opinion, it was reminiscent of the Sunni/Shi’ite divisions.

    Hmm. Do I smell coffee brewing.

    (I am so tempted to write drip, drip, and use it as my new year jingle)

  • Crataegus

    Of course the wretched act should go and the monarch does not have to be the head of any church.

    While we are at it why do we need a monarch? Keeps the tabloids in stories?

  • Kloot

    Would it not be possible for the monarch to retain the defender of the faith role while losing the Head of state role.

    Why would this not be possible, is this not the situation in Spain. Surely any UK citizen should be able to aspire to achieve the role of Head of state.
    I presume this would mean declaring the UK a republic.

    In a way I can understand why people in the UK dont want to change the de facto position. It might presumably cause to much constitutional upheaval. Dont fix what aint broken ( or that broken ). But would anyone seriously choose this option if they had a blank sheet to work from

  • merrie

    Ironically (in case some of you don’t know) the “Defender of the Faith” title was given to Henry VIII by the then Pope, before Henry decided to become head of his own religion.

  • mc

    Firstly the Act of Settlement isn’t the only act you’d need to get rid of as it isn’t the only act that bars a Roman Catholic from the throne – the Act of Settlement re states certain aspects of the Bill of Rights (Eng 1689) (the Scots version is the Claim of Rights), there is also the matter of the act establishing the coronation oath with its promise to maintain the protestant reformed religion. The reality is that the act of settlement was an add on to the bill of rights since in 1689 it was still considered likely that Mary II, William III and Anne would have surviving issue.
    The reason no British Government is likely to want to start messing with it because it would involve firstly ammending the Bill of rights which would open up a number of cans of worms relating to the way in which the UK is governed having more to do with Parliament than the Crown. Secondly the Statute of Westminster 1931 established the legislative independence of the dominions from the British Parliament. In this case all those commonwealth nations that remain monarchies – Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc would have to put legislation through to match any UK change in the succession – as they had to when Edward VIII abdicated.

  • Merrie

    I don’t think that repealing the Act of Settlement will stop the DUP, the Orange Order and loyalists opposing Catholics. Look at the way some blacks and other migrants have been treated in loyalist areas in NI. Also the DUP’s attitude to gays.

    Only taig lassies who would like to marry Prince William before he goes bald could possibly benefit from the repeal…

  • mc

    Further to the post on the Monarch’s position within the Anglican Church – she is not HEAD OF THE CHURCH. The current position is as follows – The Queen is Supreme Governor of The Church of England but she has no role in changing doctrine or the rules even her rights to appoint bishops and archbishops is done on the advice of the Prime Minister. In Scotland the Queen has no position though she has the right to attend the General Assembly – the Scots Kirk is free of the state and is guaranteed protection under the Act of Union (given that Charles I attempt to anglicise the Kirk inadvertantly helped steam roller him into Civil War both north and south of the border).
    The Church of Ireland and the Church of Wales are both disestablished and the Monarch has no role or position in either.

  • topdeckomnibus

    Why on earth would the Irish think that the English wish to remain in a monarchy ?

    I think the majority English view would be to carry out an act of settlement of the “Windsors” to the countries of their origin. Scotland, Wales and Germany etc.

    As Barbara Cartland said of her relative “Diana is the only English one amongst them”.

    The British Army dubs the younger prince as “The ginger tankie” … obviously suspecting that he may be more English than his older brother.

    And probably a lot of England would like to see them join the other dysfunctional families on the Jeremy Kyle show “And after the break the results of the DNA tests”.

    AS for Stuarts regaining the monarchy. They must fight it out with the Portuguese claim … all to do with Victoria, Wellington and a period of bed rest at Ramsgate. Hence the English joke about whether Wellington was caught out without his rubber boot.

    Anthropologists believe that a useful role for the royals would be to be issued with hereditary office in Northern Ireland to act as permanent blame victims and provide a coping mechanism for the endemic codependent nature of the people.

  • Sammy Morse

    Is the Monarch not Head of the Church of England (Protestant), and ineffect therefore Head of the Church of Ireland since it’s Anglican?

    No she is not. Although perhaps you feel it legitimises your own b1g0try for you to think that she is?