Buckingham Palace, Charles Prince of Wales, Elizabeth II, England, King Charles III of the United Kingdom, Kings and Queens of England, kings and queens of Scotland, kings and queens of the United Kingdom, Scotland, The Duke of Cambridge, the prince of Wales, United Kingdom of Great Britain
There were two blog posts on Royal Central that I read recently. One remarked about when Charles becomes king his coronation service will be more ecumenical and will not be a service just for those of The Church of England. Another article was about the Scottish referendum for independence that will be voted on next year. Both of these articles demonstrate that, as with all of life, things will not remain the same and things will change. The British monarchy, and all extant monarchies, have survived because of thei ability to change and adapt to the times. Today I will examine the two issues brough up by the articles on the Royal Central website.
The Coronation of King Charles III
I do think that changing the coronation service to allow the participation of others faiths is a good idea. Charles has gone on record saying that he hopes to be the Defender of Faiths (plural) and not just the defender of the Church of England. I think this is forward thinking. It represents the changing demographics in British society. Although a large percentage of people in the United Kingdom do label themselves as Christian (71.6%) that leaves 28. 4% of the population that identify themselves as Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, no-specific faith or any number of other religious beliefs. In a constitutional monarchy the monarch needs to be a representative of all faiths and all people. I for one do someday see the need for the Monarchy and the Church of England to part ways, but that may not happen for a long long while. The new Succession laws have made a large step in removing anti-Catholic bias from the monarchy, it just didn’t go far enough in this writers opinion. As of the writing the heir to the monarch still has to be in communion with the Church of England.
Devolution of the United Kingdom
In the fall of 2014 Scotland will vote on whether or not to remain a member of the United Kingdom or to become a separate sovereign state once again. Years ago if you had asked me I would have been against such an action. However, as I have learned more about Scottish history and the strong sense of identity and national spirit that the Scots have it saddens me to see they have lost some of that identity in the shadow of England. I guess that is one of the reasons I am bothered that people still call Elizabeth II “Queen of England.” It is not just the fact that it is not her proper title, it is the fact that it ignores Scotland completely.
Another reason I have changed my mind about Scottish independence is that I have learned that if independence is achieved Scotland would retain Elizabeth II as Head of State and become a member of the Commonwealth. To me this is acceptable compromise. I have said this before, but it bears repeating. I do miss the days when the monarch was simply the King or Queen of England. I also miss the traditions and the days when the monarch was called the King or Queen of Scots. If Scotland does become independent and Elizabeth II (or simply Queen Elizabeth in Scotland) is retained as the Head of State, I do hope we see the return of those classic titles. This will place things as they were prior to 1707 with England and Scotland sharing a joint monarch.
Now, I have to ask the question, is it possible that Scotland could return to how things were prior to 1603 when James VI, King of Scots succeeded to the English throne? Could we see Scotland having its own monarch once again and not sharing one with England? Personally, I would love to see it. My dream scenario would be that the Earl of Wessex become Edward IV, King of Scots* and his son would be the future James VIII**. I know this will not happen but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming! I don’t know how much the Scots are monarchists and would want their own monarch.
It is interesting to watch the future and to see the changes.
* Many consider Edward Balliol as the rightful King of Scots between 1332-1336. King Edward VII would be considered Edward II, King of Scots, while his grandson, Edward VIII, would be considered Edward III.
** If James Francis Edward Stuart, Princes of Wales (1688-1766), son of James II-VII of England and Scotland, who’s pretence to the Scottish throne was from 1701 to 1766, is counted as James VIII (as most Jacobites do) then a future James of Scotland could be called James IX, King of Scots.