HRH The Prince of Wales has some concerns that the new Succession Crown Bill may have negative repercussions that he doesn’t think politicians have thought all the way through. From my reading of his complaints it doesn’t sound like he is against changing some of these laws, it seems that his major complaint is that these new Laws are being rushed through without consideration for their long term results.
In many ways I agree with him. One of the issues is the removal of the prohibition toward marrying Catholics. The problem with the Succession Bill is not that it removes the outdated prohibition toward members of the Royal Family marrying Catholics, the problem is that it does not address the situation about whether or not the monarch themselves has to remain in communion with the Church of England? In other words the prince asks, can the monarch be Catholic and still be the head of the Church of England?
England/Britain has a long and bloody history over this very question. As the article states wars and lives were lost over this issue and the throne itself has been fought over this issue. This brings up the issue does the union between the Crown and the Anglican Church needs to be dissolved? The Church of England has been linked to the monarchy ever since the days and times of Henry VIII 1509-1547.
It is this writers opinion that it is time to separate the monarchy from the Headship of the Church of England. Being an American, I do see the wisdom, especially in this day and age, of the separation between Church and State. I think religion should be a private affair even for the monarch. How many monarchs since the times of Henry VIII have actually, inwardly, supported the beliefs and tenets of the Church of England?
As the Monarchy has evolved to be above partisan politics maybe it is time for the monarchy to be above a specific religious faith. After all Britain is a realm of many faiths and the monarchy should, in my opinion, represent all of the people and not just one select group.
The other concerns the Prince of Wales has is over the Duchy of Cornwall. The Duchy of Cornwall has been associated with the heir to the Crown for many centuries. Right now it is inherited by the male heir to the throne. If the Bill passes and if a female heir can now inherit the Duchy of Cornwall, then what will this do for the rest of the peerages? This law will not effect Peerage titles (other than the Duchy of Cornwall) so it may be a short time before Peers call for changes in the inheritance of their titles. So may be for a gender neutral succession for peerage titles, others may not feel so benevolent.
The Prince…nor anyone….has said a word about the Title of Prince of Wales yet! So I agree with the Prince of Wales. While the Succession Crown Bill is a step in the right direction it does not resolve all the issues.