The talking King

As the future King Charles prepares for the throne his Sixtieth birthday has been outflanked by suggestions in the Sunday Times that he will break tradition and speak out.

Is this justified? Well according to the paper polls show that the population would be broadly in support of him. Perhaps he would say somethings politicians are afraid to given the fact that he will not rely on maintaining his position by standing before the electorate.

The article also refers to ongoing rumors of talks between Downing Street and Buckingham Palace about the laws of succession, i.e. whether a Roman Catholic should be allowed to take the throne. Last weekend at a parade in London the Grand Lodge of England handed a letter of protest, signed by all three Grand Masters of the British Isles, into Downing Street against such measures being introduced.

  • Ri Na Deise

    Who gives a shit tbh.

  • his Sixth birthday

    Shurely, shome misteak …

  • Llamedos

    The Prime Minister is now trying to woo his Roman Catholic MPs by suggesting changes to the Act of Settlement. Pursuit of this ill thought out strategy could well finish up with the United Kingdom having Roman Catholic monarchs in perpetuity as the Pope’s rule of “Ne Temere” would apply.
    The consequent results of this ill thought out attempt, no doubt to help save his own political career. By giving The Roman Catholic Church’s MPs an inducement by rewriting the Act of Settlement throws up a veritable myriad of potential obstacles. For instance where would we crown a new monarch if he was a Roman Catholic?; how could we swear allegiance to a monarch who would be obeisant to the head of a foreign state, who is elected by cardinals from foreign countries?; which denomination is the principle church of the military?; the monarch is Head of the Church of England and it is not for a Presbyterian lead cabinet to dictate to our church how it goes about its affairs we have a General Synod for that purpose; the list of problems is endless.
    So much so that if the Prime Minister continues to dig this hole he will never recover from the mess he is already in, which appears to be totally insoluble already. He seems to be intent on giving away our much cherished sovereignty away to not only Brussels but also The Vatican.
    .

  • Jimmy Sands

    Of course a simple repeal of the Act of Settlement would solve both problems at a single stroke. Assuming King Francis was happy not to run his mouth that is. Charles von Battenburg could spout as much reactionary gibberish as he liked.

  • Llamedos

    Nevin, The Sixth birthday is possibly the new Creationist’s way of condensing time.

  • Mark McGregor

    He writes that Charles, as king, would not speak out as provocatively as he does now on subjects ranging from education to climate change.

    God, that seems like a huge departure. So he says nothing but forcefully, catch a grip.

  • Modernist

    Maybe you could have not just have a RC monarch but maybe even a muslim monarch or maybe even a hindu now that’d be interesting.

  • Big Maggie

    Llamedos

    The Sixth birthday is possibly the new Creationist’s way of condensing time.

    Nah, Brian is a classic case of Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. Runs in the family. His mum is actually 38.

  • ben

    Do you know what would solve the whole “problem” a lot more thoroughly than tinkering with the Act of Settlement? I’ll give you a clue: Cromwell, Lenin, Robespierre …

  • Dewi

    Get lost Andrew – Write a decent post.

  • ben
    Disestablishing the Church of England would solve the problem in a more obtainable way.

  • Dewi
    Yes it’s a lot of hot heir!

  • Earnan

    Here’s an idea, get rid of the whole goddamn institution!!!

    Would save taxpayers a lot of money.

  • ben

    Manfarang —

    The disestablishment is taken to be implicit in the scenario I meant. I’m a bit old-fashioned about these things.

    He would plait the priest’s entrails
    For want of a rope, to strangle kings

  • Rory

    Indeed, Ben.

    I yearn for the day
    When the last princeling
    Is hanged, by the entrails
    Of the last bishop.

  • If the country wants a monarch with opinions then it will have to find a better way of selecting one. The family that holds that office now displays no distinctive gift for eloquence or abstract thought. None of them are very bright. Charles himself, poor thing, is a dullard.

  • Llamedos

    … finish up with the United Kingdom having Roman Catholic monarchs in perpetuity as the Pope’s rule of “Ne Temere” would apply.

    Ne Temere was replaced in 1970 with the more relaxed Matrimonia Mixta. I’d have thought the religion-obsessed whackos of Little Ulster would have kept up with that.

  • The current situation is nonsense anyway – the Church of England is only established in England. And did you know that Autumn Kelly/Philips is still secretly a catholic. She never wrote to her bishop to say she was leaving and in canon law that means she’s a catholic.

    Still, the whole thing smells of Labour desparation and fear of Scots Nationalists using it to capture a few Catholic votes. I suspect nothing will come of it. And if it did happen, I think people would cope.

  • Brian Walker

    Why does Prince Charles matter just a little? (Not at all if you’re an Irish republican so why join the debate)? Because the Crown is embedded in the British constitution and remains a symbol of identity at home and abroad. And anyway, I love this stuff as a hobby just as I’m fascinated with the politics of the Vatican and the RC Church. It’s interesting to note that for his 60th birthday, Charles’ “friends” have been flying the kite that he should be allowed to speak out as King, in the way Irish Presidents can, steering clear of contentious political issues but talking about reconciliation, the legacy of history etc.

    Since Sunday, most comment has been against his continuing to speak out on controversial issues like GM foods where he’s certain to attract criticism. The establishment have yet to find where the line should be drawn.

    This bout of speculation raises bigger questions; should some reforms be carried out now while the Queen is in good health or scrambled if she begins to fail and then dies? Is it wise to enhance Charles’ role simply for his presumed benefit if the Queen remains fit?

    Some desirable changes should be made regardless. No one would now seriously defend the ban on Roman Catholics succeeding to the throne. One big reason for doing so it that it seriously offends Scottish Catholics who might switch support from Labour to the SNP and independence. A problem is that removing the ban will mean breaking the present compulsory link between the monarch and the Church of England. In practice, it is likely that a link would remain where, after removing the formal links, the monarch might be thought of more as patron rather than Supreme Governor of the Church. But, if so, such a link would be voluntary and without legally disadvantaging Roman Catholics.

    Abdication is possible but unlikely. Hitherto the Queen has indicated that she feels committed to her duties for the full extent of her natural life. Although the government of the day and Parliament might not wish to stand in her way should she change her mind, abdication would not be an entirely simple matter. The older she was at the time, so that much older would be the Prince of Wales: the result could well be a movement in support of the crown slipping to her grandson rather than to a visibly ageing father – a poor reward for a faithful son. Commonwealth countries might – or might not- take the cue to ditch the monarchy.

    Changes in Prince Charles’ role as heir and eventually as King are likely to much less than last weekend’s speculation suggests.

    The ‘Defender of the Faith’ title seems perfectly open to elastic interpretation. There is no reason against, and every reason in favour of the
    monarch expressing a sympathetic interest in all religions.

    But two ideas floated last weekend are almost certainly non-runners.
    The first is Speaking Out. As heir, Prince Charles’s forays have not always been well judged or welcome. As monarch – or if sharing the
    Queen’s duties if she became very frail – they would be unacceptable unless made on the advice of ministers. The right rule, meticulously
    observed by the Queen, is that public government pronouncements on policy must be made only either by accountable politicians or on their
    advice. There can be no backsliding on this..

    Secondly, while sharing more of the Queens’ general public duties presents no problems, more formal and legal duties are a different matter.
    The question must be asked: for whose benefit would the Prince share the Queen’s legal duties like giving royal assent to Bills ( including those of the NI Assembly) and granting dissolution of Parliament? Making discreet contingencies if the Queen’s powers began to fail is one thing; sharing the monarch’s main roles as a sort of joint monarch when she is in good health is a completely different
    matter. Nothing has been done to prepare public opinion; indeed royal and government circles have always taken the view that they’d cross that
    bridge when they came to it. Even if the weekend speculation by Jonathan Dimbleby and others is kite flying by Clarence House, it is unlikely to be welcomed by leaders of the main political parties. Paving the way for a bigger role for the Prince for his sake only would risk the monarchy’s place in public opinion with a piece of indulgent and unnecessary tinkering.

  • Dec

    No one would now seriously defend the ban on Roman Catholics succeeding to the throne.

    Brian

    you clearly missed this sentence:

    “Last weekend at a parade in London the Grand Lodge of England handed a letter of protest, signed by all three Grand Masters of the British Isles, into Downing Street against such measures [whether a Roman Catholic should be allowed to take the throne] being introduced. ”

    What you might have said was:

    No one that could be treated seriously would now defend the ban on Roman Catholics succeeding to the throne.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “Last weekend at a parade in London the Grand Lodge of England handed a letter of protest, signed by all three Grand Masters of the British Isles, into Downing Street against such measures being introduced.”

    Alas for the Grand Master and the Orange Lodge of Ireland it has a minimal say and influence on the isle of Ireland.
    Most folk here don’t really care about such issues either!

  • Nathan

    To be honest its a non-story

    Changing this law would have so many implications for other laws. It would affect other commonwealth jurisdictions as well, surely they would have to legislate as well.

    In this economic climate, no reasonable politician would wish to see excessive amounts of parliamentary sessions wasted on such a third-rate issue.

  • Driftwood

    The ‘Defender of the Faith’ title seems perfectly open to elastic interpretation. There is no reason against, and every reason in favour of the
    monarch expressing a sympathetic interest in all religions.

    Take your pick:

    http://newhumanist.org.uk/1915