Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Royal Succession

I see from the BBC News website that the legislation to modify the succession to the Crown has now come into effect in the UK and in some of the other Commonwealth realms, and as can be seen in the report New rules on royal succession come into force.

I have commented on this previously in my posts Reforming the Act of Settlement, Adjusting the Succession and Adjusting the Succession. Media and other attention rather went off the topic with the birth of Prince George - a male succession appears clear for the forseeable future.

There is a useful outline of primogeniture, absolute primogentiture, agnatic and semi-Salic and Salic succession systems together with other variants at Order of succession 

The changes with regard to equal female inheritance may well be less significance than those to replace the 1772 Royal Marriages Act with the Monarch's assent only to the marriages of the first six in line to the throne. It may simplify things, but it may also allow the occasional future misalliance that might otherwise be avoided.

The change to the Act of Settlement is more important - amnd more welcome. It allows members of the Royal Family to marry Roman Catholics and to retain their rights of succession, and indeed to be Roman catholics in the lin eof succession. However it then still prevents a Roman Catholic from being Sovereign and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. As the Prince of Wales has been reported as pointing out that is potentially unfair on a hypothetical successor to him, who might face a potential conflict of belief and interest. To prevent a Roman Catholic for that reason alone from being Monarch struck me as unfair when I was still an Anglican. The Supreme Governorship is not a matter of doctrine but of administration, and membership no other Christian or non-Christian group is prohibited. Here, for once, the Coalition did not go far enough.

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