The UK government recently announced that it was bringing forth legislation to make the first-born of the reigning monarch the next in line to become monarch whether the child is a boy or girl. There is some rush to get the legislation passed because Kate is pregnant and so the child would be in line to take the throne after Prince William.
The announcement didn’t cause much stir because mostly people approve. Queen Elizabeth II has shown that a woman can do an admirable job as monarch.
There are also plans to permit a monarch to be married to a Roman Catholic, something which has been forbidden since the time of Queen Elizabeth I. Prince Charles, however, has pointed out that the government did not consult the royal family about this legislation, and has overlooked some potentially important issues.
What would happen, for instance, if the reigning monarch married a Catholic who insisted, according to the law of the Roman Catholic church, that their children be raised as Catholics. The likelihood is that within a generation a Catholic would be sitting on the throne of England.
That may not seem any more traumatic than the election of the Catholic John F Kennedy felt to many Americans. But the American president is not the official head of the Anglican Church. The king or queen of England is.
The government has said that if such an event took place, they would discuss it with the Vatican.
I’m afraid I agree with Prince Charles that this is an incredibly naive position to take, which is simply asking for trouble. The feeling runs deep among many Britons that they are not Roman Catholics and do not want to be under the authority of Rome .